Sometime I Sing is a CD of music for tenor and guitar by Alec Roth performed by Mark Padmore and Morgan Szymanski. The most substantial work is My Lute and I which sets nine poems by 16th century poet and courtier Sir Thomas Wyatt. There’s a definite attempt here to evoke the lute with the result that the guitar part is quite muted, The texts are fairly conventional love poetry of the period and there’s a fair bit of melodic invention in the vocal line. For some reason “How?” is largely set to the tune of “The Seeds of Love”. Padmore sings very clearly and beautifully in a characteristically English way. So pleasant to listen to but not very exciting.
Having enjoyed the performance in the Toronto Music Garden of Alec Roth’s Songs in Time of War I downloaded the CD of the original version with violin rather than erhu. There are actually three pieces on the CD. There’s the complete Songs in Time of War with tenor Mark Padmore, guitarist Morgan Szymanski, harpist Alison Nicholls and violinist Philippe Honoré, there are two solo guitar pieces Canción de la Luna and Danza de la Luna (Szymanski) and Padmore and Szymanski collaborating on Chinese Gardens; a setting of four Vikram Seth poems inspired by the Ming dynasty gardens at Suzhou.