SEA PICTURES

London Schools Symphony Orchestra

"Having let rip in the first work, a more dappled sound was drawn from the players to accompany the American mezzo-soprano, Jamie Barton, in Elgar’s Sea Pictures. The programme note reminded us of Thomas Beecham’s remark that the first soloist, none other than Clara Butt, had so powerful a voice that, on a clear day, it could be heard across the English Channel. Barton’s voice has not yet reached such power or volume but she does command a lovely rich middle tone and ringing higher notes; the ‘Gerontius moment’ halfway through the third song produced tears in the eyes of more than one listener. Elgar has never received his due in this work. The text is of its time, but when given under such loving direction as we heard from Ash and his attentive players, Sea Pictures rises in estimation. A sympathetic soloist helps and Jamie Barton’s British debut was a triumph."
–Edward Clark, Classical Source