Bennett is renowned for his film scores and his jazz performance as much as for his challenging concert works.
His film music includes scores for Far from the Madding Crowd, Murder on the Orient Express and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Richard Rodney Bennett has long had a private passion for making collages (and knitting!) and the cover image on this CD is one of his creations, currently displayed at an exhibition of his work in Chelsea.
Born in Broadstairs, Kent, in 1936, he has lived in New York City since 1979. Richard Rodney Bennett received a CBE in 1977, and was knighted in 1998. Bennett studied with Pierre Boulez in Paris.
This new recording spans five decades of Bennett’s song-writing, cherry-picking some of his most accessible and lyrical pieces, from the melodic Songs Before Sleep, performed by Roderick Williams, to the 1920s dance rhythms of A History of the Thé Dansant, the dramatic and rarely-performed Tom O'Bedlam's Song for tenor and cello (written for Peter Pears) and the enchanting A Garland for Marjory Fleming.
A wonderful recording, stunningly performed by a collection of internationally acclaimed soloists.
A Garland For Marjory Fleming: 1. An Isas Bed
A Garland For Marjory Fleming: 2. A Melancholy Lay
A Garland For Marjory Fleming: 3. On Jessy Watsons Elopement
A Garland For Marjory Fleming: 4. Sweet Isabell
A Garland For Marjory Fleming: 5. Sonnet On A Monkey
Songs Before Sleep: 1. The Mouse And The Bumblebee
Songs Before Sleep: 2. Wee Willie Winkie
Songs Before Sleep: 3. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Songs Before Sleep: 4. Baby, Baby, Naughty Baby
Songs Before Sleep: 5. As I Walked By Myself
Songs Before Sleep: 6. There Was An Old Woman
A History Of The Thé Dansant: 1. Foxtrot
A History Of The Thé Dansant: 2. Slow Foxtrot
A History Of The Thé Dansant: 3. Tango
Dream-Songs: 1. The Song Of The Wanderer
Dream-Songs: 2. The Song Of Shadows
Dream-Songs: 3. Dream-Song
Dream-Songs: 4. The Song Of The Mad Prince
Tom O'Bedlam's Song
This Is The Garden
A Song At Evening
Richard Rodney Bennett: Songs Before Sleep
No. 1. The Mouse and the Bumblebee
No. 2. Wee Willie Winkie
No. 3. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
No. 4. Baby, Baby, Naughty Baby
No. 5. As I Walked By Myself
No. 6. There was an old woman
Richard Rodney Bennett: A History of the The Dansant
No. 1. Foxtrot
No. 2. Slow Foxtrot
No. 3. Tango
Richard Rodney Bennett: Dream-Songs
No. 1. The Song of the Wanderer
No. 2. The Song of Shadows
No. 3. Dream-Song
No. 4. The Song of the Mad Prince
Richard Rodney Bennett: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
Tom O'Bedlam's Song
Richard Rodney Bennett: this is the garden
this is the garden
Richard Rodney Bennett: Voyage
Richard Rodney Bennett: A Song at Evening
A Song at Evening
“[Bennett] creates a campy 1920s-ish idiom, well captured by the versatile Iain Burnside...Benjamin Hulett, with Oliver Coates, sings with commendably Pearsian fervour...Susan Bickley adds mezzo bite to Dream-Songs, while Roderick Williams infuses Songs before Sleep with just the right dark warmth.”
16th September 2010
“Performances are uniformly excellent; this is a beautifully judged and planned disc, an undiluted pleasure.”
“What a treat this is! Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, 74 years young, continues to delight audiences the world over...he also possesses a very special gift for word-setting, if this addictive anthology is anything to go by...Performances throughout are without blemish - and a special word of praise for the supple and intuitive accompaniments by Iain Burnside.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.