We can’t resist sharing the praise that reviewers have been giving the JCS women’s voices for their performance of rare works by Ralph Vaughan Williams on the Albion CD ‘Beyond My Dream’. Here are some extracts:
The performances here are perfection itself. Mezzo-soprano Heather Lowe is definitely a singer to watch for: a classic English voice in her range of richness, depth, and plangent beauty, impeccably produced. The womens’ voices of The Joyful Company of Singers are exquisite in every way, and like Lowe have impeccable diction; the Britten Sinfonia plays an equally sterling role, and of course conductor Alan Tongue is a past master of this idiom in every way.
The brief solo and duet parts sung by members of the Joyful Company of Singer … are all quite well done, and the performers deserve honourable mention: Emma Bond, Cathryn Caunt, Rhiannon Randle, and Rosalind Russell, sopranos; Annika Lindskog and Lorna Perry, altos.
James A. Altena Fanfare
Indeed, these dedicated and scrupulously prepared performances featuring the mezzo-soprano Heather Lowe, Joyful Company of Singers and Britten Sinfonia under Tongue’s watchful lead, Andrew Walton’s top-notch production and Albion’s copiously detailed presentation are all absolutely beyond reproach, and the disc as a whole must be deemed an essential acquisition for every true RVW aficionado.
Andrew Achenbach Gramophone
[Alan Tongue] shapes these scores brilliantly, with conviction and obvious affection, leading glowing performances by the Britten Sinfonia and the women of Peter Broadbent’s Joyful Company of Singers. The mezzo-soprano roles are taken by young artist Heather Lowe, in her debut recording. She is possessor of a voice of extraordinary depth and appealing colour and has marvellous dramatic instincts. The short solos taken by … members of the chorus, as intended by the composer, are testimony to the quality of singing to be found in the fine ensemble.
Ronald E. Grames The Journal of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society
I can only recommend this disc very strongly to all admirers of the composer. That recommendation can be all the stronger thanks to the fine performances. Heather Lowe is an excellent, committed and persuasive soloist. The ladies of the Joyful Company of Singers sing very well indeed while the playing of the Britten Sinfonia is as fine as you would expect from this expert band. The music is guided with evident sympathy and understanding by the sure hand of Alan Tongue.
John Quinn Musicweb-International
You can read our previous blog about this recording here.