"This was a recital that those lucky enough to have enjoyed will not forget in a hurry.” John Quinn, Seen and Heard, International Hereford Three Choirs Festival 2012.
The thought of recording their favourite songs was inspired after Roddy and Susie's recital earlier this year at the annual 'Celebrating English Song' series at Tardebigge Church, near Bromsgrove. The two artists discovered that sadly, the series would run no more and that their recital was to be the very last! This prompted them to put together a programme not only summing up the very essence of English Song but also repertoire they have relished performing together widely over the years and which their audience seem to love as much as they do. Finzi's 'Let us Garlands Bring' and the evergreen Butterworth settings of A Shropshire Lad together with songs by Vaughan Williams, Britten and Venables among others, are old favourites that Roddy and Susie have frequently been asked for by audiences.
It will be a disc they have always wanted to record and recording them for SOMM will be an added joy. The recording will be not only their tribute to English Song but it will also serve as an affectionate personal tribute toJennie McGregor-Smith whose tireless and inspiring work in promoting English Song has given everyone so much to discover and enjoy over the years. Your donation will help us create a lasting legacy and tribute to Tardebigge's iconic concert series.
The internationally acclaimed baritone Roderick Williams encompasses a wide repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform and is in demand as a recitalist worldwide. He enjoys relationships with all the major UK opera houses and has sung opera world premieres by David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michael van der Aa, Robert Saxton and Alexander Knaifel. He sings regularly with all the BBC and major UK orchestras, as well as the Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Cincinnati Symphony, Music of the Baroque Chicago and Bach Collegium Japan amongst others. His many festival appearances include the BBC Proms (including Last Night of the Proms 2014), Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and Melbourne. Roderick Williams has an extensive discography. He is a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio.
Susie Allan was educated at Worcester College, Oxford, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she studied Accompaniment under Paul Hamburger, Graham Johnson, Iain Burnside and Martin Isepp (at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta). She was the recipient of many prizes including the Gerald Moore Award and a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Award. Susie has worked with highly-regarded artists such as Mark Padmore, Sophie Daneman, Stephan Loges, Rowan Pierce, Nathan Berg, Jonathan McGovern. Susie has had a long-standing musical partnership with Roderick Williams, and over the years has appeared with him at many festivals all over Britain, as well as at concerts in France, Austria (Schloss Atzenbrugg- Schubert Museum), New Haven (Yale), Oxford Lieder Festival, and the Park Avenue Armory, New York. She has also recorded with him both discs and broadcasts, more recently for the BBC Proms on radio and TV, premiering his own arrangement of Amazing Grace.