Baritone Roderick Williams sings with his eyes as well as his voice, wrote an enthusiastic Nottingham Post. He seems to feel his repertoire so deeply that it needs no other bells and whistles. The London-based Williams is a frequent guest in the Netherlands, in both operas and as a concert soloist. Today he’ll perform with regular accompanist Iain Burnside, with whom he has taken several programmes of Schubert songs all over the world to consistent praise. Today they’ll combine Schubert with British composer Gerald Finzi, in a recital full of bittersweet poetry.
Finzi, Hardy and Schubert
Writer and poet Thomas Hardy had a near-obsession with the ravages of time. In most of his works, youth has gone and with it, youthful innocence. Hardy writes of life and death in the lovely English countryside with a voice that aches with melancholy. This appealed enormously to composer Gerald Finzi, who set many of Hardy’s poems to music. Today Roderick Williams will sing several pieces by Finzi including his cycle Earth and Air and Rain. He pairs Finzi with Schubert, who set equally melancholy poetry to music a hundred years earlier. From Der Einsame to Totengräbers Heimweh, the end is never very far away – and it is even a consolation.