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About Ian Bostridge

 

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Singers: Ian Bostridge

Noel Coward Songbook

Noel Coward Songbook, CD, amazon.com

Coward: The Noël Coward Songbook, MP3, amazon.com

Coward: The NoŽl Coward Songbook - Ian Bostridge, Jeffrey Tate & Sophie Daneman

The Noel Coward Songbook, CD (earlier release), amazon.co.uk

In the New Zealand Herald of November 4, 2002, William Dart describes Ian Bostridge's decision to record a Noel Coward Songbook as "a major miscalculation."

"Bostridge . . . is a fine singer but, from the opening track, that beautifully modulated voice is a liability. I Travel Alone is too artified, gracious and overcultivated, where Coward's original 1936 recording is a masterpiece.

"When Bostridge is not trying to make artsongs of Coward's brittle ballads, he is hearty and heavy-handed."

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The Noel Coward Songbook can be ordered from amazon.com, from amazon.co.uk, and from amazon.de.

"The thin, elegant Bostridge, with the thin, elegant voice, is one of my favorite current Lieder singers, but he hasn't got a clue about this selection of songs (some very famous and some unknown) written by Coward in the '20s and '30s. He's mannered, he tries too hard to sell the brilliant lyrics and ends up sounding campier than Coward-- only Bostridge isn't gay," wrote T. Hashimoto in the San Francisco Examiner of October 29, 2002.

"Well, I did hem and haw about it for ages," Ian Bostridge told Michael White of the New York Times, "partly because I was worried it would turn out camp and partly because I'm never sure about crossover. It's usually too sung, by divas who can't switch their voices off. With NoŽl Coward that's a real issue, because he ended up almost speaking the songs. But if you hear the earlier recordings from the 30's, he does sing them, with a heady, falsetto-mix voice. So I sing them, too, although I haven't tried to sound like him."

"Coward's songs have never sounded quite so beautiful. But they have never sounded so committed, either, and commitment isn't necessarily what's called for here. This songbook may be one release in which Mr. Bostridge's most celebrated virtue works against him," wrote Michael White in the New York Times of November 10, 2002.

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I bought the recording myself, and I find it very enjoyable, especially the duets with Sophie Daneman.--JRP

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