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The King's Singers

Six Popular Songs

Signum Classics SIGCD056 – 1 CD single – 20 mins – Recorded May/June 2004


Trad arr Philip Lawson – Down to the River to Pray

Lennon/McCartney arr Daryl Runswick – Blackbird

Joby Talbot – The Wishing Tree

Billy Joel arr Philip Lawson – Lullabye, Goodnight my Angel

Irving Berlin arr Richard Rodney Bennet t –Blue Skies

Neil Young arr Peter Knight – After the Goldrush


It seems hard to believe that the King's Singers are approaching their 40 th anniversary, and this CD single is something of a retrospective pot-pourri of the popular end of their repertoire.


No group formed in the 60's could avoid the influence of the Beatles, and Lennon & McCartney's Blackbird appears in an arrangement by Daryl Runswick. The 70's are represented by After the Goldrush and the traditional Down to the River to Pray is timeless. These three are pretty standard fare for the King's Singers, executed with their customary technical excellence, but an approach which seemed fresh and daring 35 years ago has, like a pair of slippers, become comfortable and relaxing with time.


The arrangements of Irving Berlin's Blue Skies and Billy Joel's poignant Goodnight my Angel have more bite and show the blend of voices to real advantage.


Amongst all this relatively easy listening is John Talbot's The Wishing Tree. It was commissioned by the King's Singers and the BBC for the 2002 Proms and is a work of arresting originality, an extended and challenging fugue which the singers clearly relish. Worth buying for this track alone – chill out and enjoy the rest.

Serena Fenwick