Few composers - especially song composers - can claim to have written works that have remained in print since they were first published more than a hundred years ago. Roger Quilter is one such, though the number of his songs still in print is regrettably small. He wrote about 140 songs and arrangements, and all the songs on this CD show just what a loss it is that so few are readily available.
"Ms de Rothschild's timbre is appealing, fresh and youthful-sounding."
The publication of a double album devoted to Mathilde de Rothschild's music constitutes a further important step in the reassessment of nineteenth-century women composers. Anyone who is familiar with the cultural life of the time, would be aware of the importance of the Rothschild family who were patrons of many prominent composers, such as Mendelssohn, Herz, Bellini, Spohr, Liszt, Meyerbeer, Rossini and Chopin.
The latter, in 1849, was eager to teach a teenaged "Rothschild girl," whom he clearly considered very talented. Mathilde went on to become a respected, prolific and well-published composer of beautiful music.
"Each of these fifty-odd songs is sung with much artistry as if each is a precious and unique jewel."
The marvellously pure voice of Charlotte de Rothschild is the perfect vehicle for this repertoire. Good that she begins with some Rubbra, too: "A Hymn to the Virgin" is given with a lovely legato and some wonderful phrase shadings. "Jesukin", too, is the epitome of Christmas-spiced beauty. It is de Rothschild's ability to spin a simple line so magically that enthrals...
Harp solos are strategically placed for variety's sake, and they provide their own brand of magic. Then there is the ever-popular "Walking in the Air", as inevitable as it is poignant. Those chestnuts which roast every year in an open fire provide a fitting end, especially as the song ends with the words "Merry Christmas to you", the perfect way to leave the listener. A lovely, heart-warming disc. Enjoy.
"Of the thirty-one songs that make up this recital all but four are concerned with the intimate emotional experiences of a woman or young girl. All the events, expectations, disappointments, joy and sorrow are communicated directly by the person experiencing them. The four observational songs (Der Nußbaum, Die Lotosblume, Herzeleid and Schneeglöckchen) in which the poet acts as our intermediary, also share a preoccupation with private, youthful yearning and heartbreak, with only Schneeglöckchen falling into the archetypal lieder catch-all of gender neutral "nature" song."
I have always believed in magic and have loved tales of mystical beings ever since my beloved Scottish nanny introduced me to a world of wonder when I was little. She never failed to point out a fairy ring of mushrooms or the dew sparkling on a spider's web in the early morning as if touched by a wand when we went for our morning walk. She read me wonderful tales of magical folk that fired my imagination such as "Little Grey Men" and "Down the Bright Stream" by B.B, closely followed by stories from Andrew Lang's many coloured Fairy Books, "The Hobbit" and the Narnia Chronicles. I can still remember the joy and fascination of discovering this parallel race of beings.
As in the great Schubert songs, so these strophic kakyoku hide a depth of meaning and one has to peel away each layer of the poems and music to discover their inner core. An album of all-Japanese traditional songs is not an unusual thing for a Japanese artist to do in Japan but the fact that I am a foreigner may give them a different slant.
I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed recording them with the help of the wonderful Masahiro Saitoh as accompanist.
Songs by Kohsaku Yamada, Yoshinao Nakata, Dan Ikuma and Taki Rentaro among others.
Gary Higginson was born in 1952 and although this is the first recording of any of his work he has had a busy career in music. On this debut recording we hear a varied selection of Higginson's vocal music, both sacred and secular, together with pieces for solo harp played by Danielle Perrett. Charlotte de Rothschild, the distinguished soprano, gives an inspired performance, her voice encompassing the highest notes with marvelous ease."
This splendid disc should be greeted with the greatest enthusiasm. It is a magnificent introduction to an unjustly overlooked contemporary composer.
Songs by friends, teachers and relatives; spanning 200 years of Rothschild family history.
"In one of the most intriguing recordings of recent months, a present-day Rothschild sings works inscribed in her family's volume...Charlotte de Rothschild, whose attractive voice has earned her a career as a recitalist and oratorio soloist, intersperses treasures from the family album among other works associated with home musicales - most notably, songs composed by her cigar-smoking ancestor Mathilde de Rothschild."
THE NEW YORKER
"..a neat and unique package indeed."
Charlotte de Rothschild is an internationally renowned lyric soprano who specialises in Oratorio and the Art of Song. She sings in 18 languages and was hailed as a pioneer in Japan, being one of the first foreigners to have recorded a complete CD of Kakyoku.