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WOLF Italienische Liederbuch

Joan Rodgers, Roderick Williams, Roger Vignoles.

Champs Hill Records: CHRCD054

A lovely new recording of this Wolf favourite, which has given us huge pleasure over the years in live duo-recitals, sometimes with Graham Johnson in charge.

A problem raised in connection with Johnson's bargain recording on Helios (Lott & Schreier) recurs here; did Rodgers and Williams actually meet for this musical sparring match during four days in Sussex last July, or is its great success and naturalness due to Vignoles and engineer Dave Rowell? There's no photo of them together, nor on YouTube...

However, a charming intimacy is achieved at Champs Hill, with close alternations in the splicing of their chosen ordering of these 46 miniatures. Presentation is fine, with Vignoles telling us about this much loved last cycle of this great specialist composer, before his descent into syphilitic GPI madness and early death...

Good notes, texts and translations in strong black print on glossy white paper; don't the new breed of arts editors know that this is always the best?

Recommended for adding to other versions in your collection - and do take a look at the youthful Fischer-Dieskau urging intensity in a master class... (found in my new routine to explore YouTube videos as an adjunct to reviewing CDs !).

Peter Grahame Woolf