Album Booklet - Resonus Classics



Album Booklet - Resonus Classics
Hidden Treasure
A recital by
David Soar
James Southall
Hidden Treasure
A recital by
David Soar
David Soar bass
James Southall piano
‘… definitely a singer to listen out for’
Opera Today
‘… poised and elegant singing ... from the excellent David Soar’
The Daily Telegraph
C. Armstrong Gibbs (1889-1960)
Songs of the Mad Sea Captain, Op. 111
1. Hidden Treasure
2. Abel Wright
3. Toll the Bell
4. The Golden Ray
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Drei Gesänge von Metastasio, D. 902
5. L’incanto degli occhi
6. Il traditor deluso
7. Il modo di prender moglie
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
8. Mentre ti lascio, o figlia K. 513
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
9. This poet sings (Anacreon’s Defeat)
10. Bacchus is a pow’r divine
Frederick Keel (1871-1954)
Three Salt Water Ballads
11. Port of Many Ships
12. Trade Winds
13. Mother Carey
Total playing time
Hidden Treasure
C. Armstrong Gibbs (1889-1960)
Songs of the Mad Sea Captain, Op. 111
David Soar
Cecil Armstrong Gibbs was born at Great
Baddow, near Chelmsford, Essex, in 1889,
and died in Chelmsford in 1960. His principal
teacher was Ralph Vaughan Williams, and
much of his work – an opera, incidental
music for plays, songs and symphonies – was
in forms Vaughan Williams had mastered.
These four songs are settings of poems by
Bernard Martin, from his children’s book
Red Treasure, published in 1945. Red
Treasure is a rattling yarn of lost rubies,
Burmese tribesmen, white-cliffed islands
and prisoners held hostage. Captain Adam
is a ferocious sea-dog who has washed up
on one of these islands in search of the
fabled rubies from Pegu. He captures the
narrator of the tale and forces him (by tying
him to a tree) to listen to several of his
songs, which he sings in a fine bass voice
with all the mannerisms of an opera star.
‘Hidden Treasure’ tells of the rubies of
Pegu and ivories of Cathay, lost at sea.
Any sailor rash enough to seek for them
is bound to end up in Davy Jones’s locker.
‘Abel Wright’ is a sinister little shanty about
a ship's carpenter, whose ship sprang a
leak and sank, and of a ship’s cook called
Nobby Clark, who is buried at sea.
‘Toll the Bell’ is a yarn about a ship wrecked
in the Bay of Bengal, which foundered because
it had been sent to sea by a fiend from Hell,
and planned a terrible fate for the Master,
the crew and the Mate. ‘The Golden Ray’
is sung at a point in the story when the
Captain, now quite mad, has thrown off
his clothes and run into the sea to escape
his pursuers, and sings ‘with his magnificent
voice a song I had not heard before ... I was
fascinated by the rolling tune and stood
listening...’ This song tells of a beautiful bay
in the Indian ocean, where the sea shines
with phosphorescence and the crew of the
Golden Ray was ‘fought and beaten, then
cooked and eaten, by pirates from Malay.’
It ends with a warning not to put to sea in
search of treasure, a message Captain Adam
has been emphasising throughout the novel.
Towards the end of the novel, after finding
and losing the chest of rubies, the Captain
falls off a cliff and into a pool of boiling mud,
and that is the end of him.
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Drei Gesänge von Metastasio D. 902
Among the last songs Schubert wrote were
these three settings of aria texts by Pietro
Metastasio, the great eighteenth-century
librettist who had spent most of his career
in Vienna. The first , ‘L’incanto degli occhi’
comes from Act 2 of Metastasio’s libretto
Attilio Regolo. The melody is decidedly
Italianate, with quantities of coloratura
ornamentation, while the chugging piano
accompaniment belongs firmly in Schubert’s
familiar lieder style.
‘Il traditor deluso’ is a recitative and aria,
again in thoroughly operatic style, with a
melodramatic accompaniment to the
declamatory recitative, that leads into the
aria itself, in which the deluded traitor
finds himself enveloped by a dark night of
terror with ghosts and other horrors all
around him. The effect is closer to Weber
than to the Italians, with more than a hint
of the Wolf's Glen scene of Der Freischütz.
The Mozartian phrase that opens the
third song, ‘The way to take a wife’
declares it to be a comic ballad, in which
the singer makes a case in favour of
marrying for money. What happens next,
as the outrageous argument unfolds
through the ballad's verses, is worthy
of Leporello, and Schubert clearly has
Don Giovanni in mind.
W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)
Mentre ti lascio, o figlia K.513
Mozart wrote this aria in 1787 for Gottfried
von Jacquin, dating it 27 March, and taking
his text from Duca Sant’Angioli-Morbilli’s
opera libretto La disfatta di Dario (The Defeat
of Darius). The Viennese family of von Jacquin
had made friends with Mozart: the father,
Nikolaus Joseph, was a professor of botany
at the University of Vienna, and his second
son Emilian Gottfried was an official in the
Austro-Bohemian chancellery. Mozart taught
him music, and he published a number
of Mozart's songs as his own compositions,
with Mozart’s consent. The friendship
between von Jacquin and the Mozart family
flourished for several years, and one of
Mozart’s most important letters, sent
from Prague and describing the success
there of The Marriage of Figaro, was
addressed to von Jacquin, along with a
new nickname ‘Hinkity Honky’ that Mozart
had concocted for him, along with other
equally silly names for other friends and
relations, to while away the coach journey
from Vienna. Mozart wrote to him shortly
after setting this aria to tell him the sad
news that Leopold Mozart had died. He
continued to write gossipy, chatty letters
to von Jacquin, and from them we gain
a great deal of information about Mozart’s
life, passions and personality. The libretto
was set in full by Paisiello, and given its
first performance at the Teatro Argentino,
Rome, in 1776. This aria describes Darius’s
grief at being parted from his daughter.
The opening section of the aria, marked
larghetto, sets a mood of sorrow and
resignation, but the emotion grows
David Soar & James Southall at Wyastone Leys
desperate as the tempo changes to allegro.
The aria belongs to the tradition of opera
seria, and although Mozart wrote it in the
midst of his collaboration with Lorenzo da
Ponte, it has more of the mood of Idomeneo
or the later La clemenza di Tito than of either
The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni.
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
This poet sings (Anacreon’s Defeat)
Bacchus is a pow'r divine
These two songs by Purcell are evocations
of women and wine respectively. The first is
a setting of an anonymous translation of a
poem by the Greek poet Anacreon. The
poet says how some poets sing of war,
others of wine, while he sings of his defeats,
not by armies or navies, but by the fatal
power of his mistress’s eyes.
In ‘Bacchus is a pow’r divine’, Purcell sets
words of a drunkard’s song, celebrating
the force of wine to drive away care,
bring pleasant thoughts, give illusions
of wealth, pour scorn on martial valour,
until the singer begs the soldier to consider
the benefits of being dead drunk, instead
of dead on the field of battle. The words
are by an anonymous poet, and the song
was published in 1698, three years after
Purcell’s death.
J. Frederick Keel (1871-1954)
Three Salt-Water Ballads
J. Frederick Keel published his Three
Salt-Water Ballads in 1919, setting poems
by John Masefield. Masefield had sailed
in naval vessels and windjammers, and his
collection of sea-inspired poems Salt-Water
Ballads came out in 1902. Masefield was
appointed Poet Laureate in 1930, and held
the post until his death in 1967. ‘Port of
Many Ships’ is a lyrical evocation of the
afterworld of Kingdom Come, where the
singer wishes to be. Heaven in his vision is
an ideal port full of ships ready to set sail,
wrecks from long ago brought back to life
with their crews on board. The lilting ‘Trade
Winds’ evokes the tropical islands on the
Spanish Main, with their fireflies and
moonlight, palmtrees and the ‘long, low
croon’ of the winds themselves. ‘Mother
Carey’ is an old sea-hag who lives on an
iceberg alongside Davy Jones, and she brings
about shipwrecks and tempests. The
song is a fast patter-setting of the third
of these lively ballads.
© 2011 Simon Rees
Simon Rees has been the Dramaturge of Welsh National
Opera since 1989. He has translated more than 60 opera
libretti for surtitles; published three novels and written
reviews for The Literary Review, The Sunday Correspondent
and The Independent.
James Southall
Songs of the Mad Sea Catpain, Op. 111
1. Hidden Treasure
There were rubies red from Pegu,
And iv’ries from Cathay,
But they’re lost and gone forever
Or so the tallies say,
When a ship was sunk at the harbour bar
A curse on the devil of a Sharbandar!
And those rubies red from Pegu
And the iv’ries of Cathay
Were stolen and hid forever
Where there ain’t no light o’ day,
And now none knows where them sparklers are
A curse on the devil of a Sharbandar.
But the rubies red as blood
And the iv’ries white as bones
Have sent a score of ruffians
Along o’ Davy Jones;
So stick to your ship, you jolly, jolly tar,
And curse that devil of a Sharbandar.
2. Abel Wright
Abel Wright was a joiner’s mate
Who shipped as a carpenteer
The ship she sprang a tiny leak,
And now, if Abel you would seek,
Look twenty fathoms below,
Yo Ho!
Look Twenty fathoms below.
O, Nobby Clark was a soldier bold
Who went to sea as a cook,
His one idea was fried fishroes,
Sew him up tight with a weight at his toes,
For Nobby won’t cook no more,
Yo Ho!
Nobby won’t cook no more.
3. Toll the Bell
A ship went down in the Bay of Bengal,
(Toll the bell for the Master!)
It wasn’t a rock nor it wasn’t a squall,
(Toll the bell for the Mate!)
And why she sank isn’t known at all,
(Toll the bell for the Crew!)
By the knell of the bell
You may tell full well
‘Twas a fiend from Hell,
Had a purpose fell,
When he sent that ship to sea,
O, when he sent that ship to sea.
So pray for the Master, Crew and Mate,
And damn the devil who planned their fate!
4. The Golden Ray
O, hark, ye lubbers, in a far off sea,
There’s a beautiful land-locked bay,
Where the wind sings soft
And they never go aloft,
Nor are drench’d with driving spray.
On the shores of that bay in the Indian sea
Where the sun burns hot all day,
The water at night
Shines phosphorous bright,
But a sailor can’t spend his pay.
Yet ‘twas in this bay of a landlocked sea
That the crew of the Golden Ray
Was fought and beaten,
Then cooked and eaten
By pirates from Malay.
O, hark, ye lubbers that put to sea,
For the treasures of far Cathay,
If ye stay in port
Ye’ll never be caught,
Like the crew of the Golden Ray.
Bernard Martin
Drei Gesänge von Metastasio, D. 902
5. L’incanto degli occhi
Da voi, cari lumi,
Di pende il mio stato;
Voi siete i miei Numi,
Voi siete il mio fato.
A vostro talento
Mi sento cangiar,
Ardir m’inspirate,
Seliete splendate;
Se torbidi siete,
Mi fate tremar.
On you, beloved eyes,
Does my life hang;
You are my Gods,
You are my destiny.
At your bidding
My mood changes,
You inspire me with courage
When you shine joyfully;
If you are downcast,
You make me tremble.
6. Il traditor deluso
Aime, io tremo!
Io sente tutto in ondarmi
Il seno di gelido sudor!
Fuga si, ah quale?
Qual’ è la via?
Chi me l’addita?
Oh Dio! che ascoltai?
Che m’avenne?
Oh Dio! che ascoltai?
Ove son io?
Ah l’aria d’intorno lampeggia, sfavilla;
Ondeggia, vacilla l’infido terren!
Qual notte profonda
D’orror mi circonda!
Che larve funeste,
Che smanie son queste,
Che fiero spavento
Mi sento nel sen!
Alas, I tremble!
All over, I feel waves
Of chill sweat on my brow!
I must flee here! But where?
What is the way?
Who will I turn to?
O God! What do I hear?
What comes here?
O God! What do I hear?
Where am I?
Ah, around me the air flashes and sparkles;
The faithless earth trembles and quakes!
The dark night
Of horror surrounds me!
What anguished spectres,
What turmoil this is!
What fierce terror
I feel inside!
7. Il modo di prender moglie
Or sù! non ci pensiamo,
Corraggio e concludiamo,
Al fin s’io prendo moglie,
Sò ben perche lo fò.
Away, without thinking of it,
More courage, I have concluded
If eventually I shall take a wife,
I know well why I do it.
Lo fò per pagar i debiti,
La prendo per contanti,
Di dirlo, e di repeterlo,
Difficoltà non ho.
I do it to pay my debts,
I'll take a wife for money,
I will have no difficulty in telling you
and then repeating it.
Fra tanti modi e tanti
Di prender moglie al mondo,
Un modo più giocondo
Del mio trovar non sò.
Of all the many ways
To take a wife,
A more joyful way
I will not find.
Si prende per affetto,
Si prende per rispetto,
Si prende per consiglio,
Si prende per puntiglio,
Si prende per capriccio,
È vero, si o nò?
One marries for love,
Another marries for respect,
Another marries on advice
Another marries out of stubbornness,
Another marries on a whim,
This is true, yes or no?
Ed io per medicina
Di tutti i mali miei
Un poco di sposina
Prendere non potrò?
And I marry for medicine
For all my malaises,
A little wife
Shall I not take?
Ho detto e’l ridico,
Lo fò per li contanti,
Lo fanno tanti e tanti
Anch’ io lo farò.
I have said it and repeated it,
I marry for the money,
So many do it,
And I will do it too!
Pietro Metastasio
8. Mentre ti lascio, o figlia K. 513
Mentre ti lascio, o figlia
In sen mi trema il core
Ahi che partenza amara!
Provo nel mio dolore
Le smanie ed il terror
Parto, tu piangi! o Dio!
Ti chiedo un sol momento.
Figlia, ti lascio. o Dio,
Che fìer tormento!
Ah mi spezza il cor.
Not fleets at sea have vanquish'd me,
Nor brigadiers, nor cavalry,
Nor ranks and files of infantry.
As I leave you, oh daughter,
In my chest trembles my heart,
Ah, what a bitter parting,
I feel in my sorrow
frenzy and terror.
I depart. You weep? Oh God!
I ask of you a single moment,
Daughter, I leave you, Oh God,
what cruel torment!
Ah, my heart is breaking!
10. Bacchus is pow’r divine
Bacchus is a pow’r divine,
For he no sooner fills my head
With mighty wine,
But all my cares resign,
And droop, then sink down dead.
Then the pleasing thoughts begin,
And I in riches flow,
At least I fancy so.
And without thought of want I sing,
Stretch’d on the earth, my head all around
With flowers weav’d into a garland crown’d.
Then I begin to live,
And scorn what all the world can show or give.
Let the brave fools that fondly think
Of honour, and delight,
To make a noise and fight
Go seek out war, whilst I seek peace and drink.
Then fill my glass, fill it high,
Some perhaps think it fit to fall and die,
But when the bottles rang’d make war with me,
The fighting fool shall see, when I am sunk,
The diff’rence to lie dead, and lie dead drunk.
Text from Sant'Angiolo-Morbilli's libretto to
Paisiello’s opera La disfatta di Dario
9. This poet sings (Anacreon’s Defeat)
This poet sings the Trojan wars,
Another of the Theban jars,
In rattling numbers, verse that dares.
Whilst I, in soft and humble verse,
My own captivities rehearse;
I sing my own defeats, which are
Not the events of common war.
No, Anacreon still defies
All your artillery companies
Save those encamp'd in killing eyes;
Each dart his mistress shoots, he dies.
Three Salt-Water Ballads
11. Port of Many Ships
It’s a sunny pleasant anchorage, is Kingdom Come,
Where crews is always layin’ aft for double tots o’ rum,
‘N’ there’s dancin’ ‘n’ fiddlin’ of every kind o’ sort,
It’s a fine place for sailormen is that there port.
‘N’ I wish, I wish as I was there.
The winds is never nothin’ more than jest light airs,
‘N’ no-one gets belayin’ pinn’d, ‘n’ no one never swears,
Yer free to loaf ‘n’ laze around, yer pipe atween yer lips,
Lollin’ on the fo’c’sle, sonny, lookin’ at the ships.
‘N’ I wish, I wish as I was there.
For ridin' in the anchorage the ships of all the world
Have got one anchor down ‘n’ all sails furl’d.
All the sunken hookers ‘n’ the crews as took ‘n’ died
They lays there merry, sonny, swingin’ to the tide
‘N’ I wish, I wish as I was there.
Drown’d old wooden hookers green wi’ drippin’ wrack,
Ships as never fetch’d to port, as never came back,
Swingin’ to the blushin’ tide, dippin’ to the swell,
‘N’ the crews all singin’ sonny, beatin’ on the bell
‘N’ I wish, I wish as I was there.
12. Trade Winds
In the harbour, in the island, in the Spanish seas,
Are the tiny white houses and the orange trees,
And day-long, night-long, the cool and pleasant breeze
Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.
There is the red wine, the nutty Spanish ale,
the shuffle of the dancers, and the old salt’s tale,
The squeaking fiddle, and the soughing in the sail
Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.
And o’ nights there’s the fire-flies and the yellow moon,
And in the ghostly palm trees the sleepy tune
Of the quiet voice calling me, the long low croon
Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.
13. Mother Carey
Mother Carey? She's the mother of the witches
and all them sort o’ rips;
She’s a fine gell to look at, but the hitch is,
She’s a sight too fond of ships.
She lives upon an iceberg to the norred,
‘N’ her man he’s Davy Jones,
‘N’ she combs the weeds upon her forred
With pore drown’d sailors’ bones.
She’s the mother o’ the wrecks, ‘n’ the mother
Of all big winds as blows;
She’s up to some deviltry or other
When it storms, or sleets, or snows;
The noise of the wind’s her screamin’,
“I’m arter a plump, young, fine,
Brass-button’d, beefy-ribb’d young seam'n
So as me ‘n’ my mate kin dine.’
She’s a hungry old rip ‘n’ a cruel
For sailor-men like we,
She’s give a many mariners the gruel
‘N’ a long sleep under sea;
She's the blood o’ many a crew upon her
‘N’ the bones of many a wreck,
‘N’ she’s barnacles a-growing on her
‘N’ shark’s teeth round her neck.
I ain't never had no schoolin’
Nor read no books like you,
But I knows it ain’t healthy to be foolin’
With that there gristly two;
You’re young, you thinks, ‘n’ you’re lairy,
But if you’re to make old bones,
Steer clear, I says, of Mother Carey,
‘N’ that there Davy Jones.
David Soar bass
Born in Nottinghamshire David Soar studied
organ and singing at the Royal Academy of
Music. After working as a freelance organist,
singer and conductor, including the post of
Director of Music at All Saints Paris Church,
Kingston, he joined Welsh National Opera
(WNO), where he performed a number of
roles including Captain & Zaretsky (Eugene
Onegin), Doctor Grenvil (La Traviata) and
Bertrand (Iolanta).
Following studies at the National Opera
Studio, David returned to WNO as an
Associate Artist, where significant roles
included Colline (La Boheme), Zuniga
(Carmen), Bonze (Madam Butterfly),
Brander (The Damnation of Faust), Bass
(The Seven Deadly Sins), Ferrando (Il
Trovatore), Alidoro (La Cenerentola), The
King (Aida) and Lodovico (Otello). Other
early roles included Banquo (Macbeth),
for Opera Holland Park, and Donner
(Das Rheingold) for the Lucerne Festival.
In 2009 David was the first recipient of
the Family Parry Bursary for an Associate
Artist at WNO.
In the 2008-09 season David sang several
lead roles for WNO, the Buxton Festival,
and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
under Sir Charles Mackerras and with the
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.
Among David’s many concert engagements
have been Handel’s Messiah with the English
Concert conducted by Harry Bicket, Masetto
(Don Giovanni) with the Scottish Chamber
Orchestra conducted by Robin Ticciati,
Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Hallé
Orchestra, and Brahms’ Requiem with WNO.
In the 2009-10 season David sang First
Workman (Wozzeck) with the London
Philharmonia under Esa-Pekka Salonen,
Handel’s Messiah with the Academy of
Ancient Music in Utrecht conducted by
Richard Egarr, Escamillo (Carmen), the
Doctor (La Traviata), Nightwatchman (Die
Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Sparafucile
(Rigoletto) for Welsh National Opera, where
he was Principal Artist. David completed
the season making his debut at the Salzburg
Festival as Le Duc in Romeo et Juliette.
Engagements in the 2010-11 season included
the Old Monk (Don Carlo) in Bilbao and
Quinault (Adriana Lecouvreur) for his debut
at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
and Masetto (Don Giovanni) in his debut for
Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Also coming
up is Signor La Rocca (Un giorno di regno)
for Bilbao Opera, and his Metropolitan
Opera debut in the 2012-13 season.
James Southall piano
James has been a full-time member of Music
Staff at Welsh National Opera (WNO) since
September 2008. Before that he was holder
of the David Bowerman Junior Fellowship
at the Royal College of Music, having gained
a distinction in his Masters degree in Piano
Accompaniment there the previous year. At
the College he was a student of John Blakely
and Roger Vignoles.
In 2008 James won the MBF Accompanist’s
Prizes in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, where
he collaborated with winner Ben Johnson,
and the Maggie Teyte Competition. Before
his postgraduate studies, James read music
at Queens’ College, Cambridge where he
was principal cellist of the university orchestra.
Alongside his work as a pianist, James has
conducted Mozart’s La finta giardiniera at
Opéra de Baugé and The Magic Flute at
WNO. James is a recipient of the WNO
Chris Ball Bursary.
Other titles from Resonus Classics
Mendelssohn: Octet Op. 20
World premiere recording of the original 1825 version
Eroica Quartet and Friends
BBC Music Magazine, Chamber disc of the month
Charles Villiers Stanford: Organ Works
Tom Winpenny organ
The Binns Organ of Queens’ College, Cambridge
© 2011 Resonus Ltd
2011 Resonus Ltd
Recorded in Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, UK on 6 & 7 March 2011
Producer & Engineer: Adam Binks
Executive Producers: Adam Binks and Jonathan Manners
Recorded at 24-bit / 96kHz resolution
Cover image: The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao © Resonus Ltd
Session photography © Resonus Ltd
With thanks to Camilla Roberts.
[email protected]