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On the Wings of Love
Andrew Kennedy, tenor; Richard Hosford, clarinet; Iain Burnside, piano
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…genuinely personal and at times profound. Of the two major cycles here, On the Wings of Love (2006) adds a clarinet obbligato to the statutory voice/piano partnership. Richard Hosford is exemplary here in capturing and amplifying the mood of each song, memorably so in the long, lovely Yeats setting, ‘When you are Old’. The Venetian Songs (1995) comprise four settings of the Victorian writer John Addington Symonds, on whom Venables is an acknowledged expert, and whose At Malvern inspired Venables’s separate, haunting and indeed hypnotic 1998 song – one of the finest things here. But the clattering piano in Tennyson’s ‘Break, break, break’ (from the Op. 33 collection) and the imaginative Hardy setting A Kiss are also remarkable.
George Hall, BBC Music Magazine, 12/1/2010

[T]he first living composer to be represented in Naxos's English Song series. Heard on its own, one of these cycles I'm sure would be quietly effective.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 11/26/2010

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