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URQUHART SECRET & DIVINE SIGNS

Where the Frailest Leaves Me (Whitman)

Sometimes with One I Love (Whitman)

O You Whom I Often and Silently Come (Whitman)

I'll tell you how the Sun rose (Dickinson)

Split the Lark ( Dickinson )

Among the Multitude (Whitman)

Far from Love ( Dickinson )

Sleeping Rose (Draddy)

Piano ( D H Lawrence )

Across the Fields (Hesse)

Adrift, a little boat adrift ( Dickinson )

On this wondrous sea ( Dickinson )

It's all I have to bring today ( Dickinson )

 

Piano solos

Streamwalker

Pas de Deux

Vespers Hymn

Venetian Snowfall

The Dalliance of Eagles

Secret Spaces

The Awakening

 

Michael Slattery tenor

Craig Urquhart - piano

 

Avie AV2088 [Recorded September 2005 53 mins]

 

Significantly, Craig Urquhart worked as a musical assistant to Leon ard Bernstein for a number of years and there is the same sense of approachability to his music. The share the facility to make an original setting of words and richly sinewed music sound deceptively simple.

 

The poems he has selected are principally by Emily Dickinson, surely the most favoured by composers of all American poets, but there are also Walt Whitman, D H Lawrence, Hermann Hesse and the contemporary (relatively unknown) Ron Draddy. Indeed it is the setting of Draddy's Sleeping Rose (I wish I had a rose to place upon your heart . ) that has perhaps the most immediate appeal.

 

But there is a lot more than instant pleasure to be gained from these songs. Split the Lark and you'll find the Music sounds calm enough, but controlled below the surface is the singer's total recoil from the terrible Sceptic Thomas, ending in an icily delivered Now, do you doubt that your Bird was true?

 

The young tenor, Michael Slattery, has been recorded very close to the microphone, which occasionally leads to a slightly breathy tone, but he has a fine, clear voice, secure throughout the wide range demanded by these pieces, and beautifully modulated. He is rapidly making a name for himself in the opera houses of the world.

 

The recital also has the obvious advantage that the composer plays the piano, and his solo pieces, interspersed between the songs, give equal pleasure. He chose to record at The Kalvierhaus in New York , on a splendidly bright sounding piano.

 

Serena Fenwick

© Peter Grahame Woolf