Michael Hurd: Choral Music Vol.2 & Complete Solo Songs for voice and piano
Lyrita presents volume two of Michael Hurd's Choral Music together with his complete solo songs for voice and piano.Hurd’s love of literature and the human voice illuminated a natural talent for wordsetting. Hence his catalogue is dominated by choral and vocal works, including operas, ‘pop’ cantatas, songs and anthems. He was especially noted for his many scores for children and amateurs, and his care to ensure that the material he wrote was within the reach of non-professional singers and accompanists accords with his conviction that composers should adopt a practical approach to their craft.
When we heard the opera The Aspern Papers by Hurd, based on the novel by Henry James, we did not doubt a moment that it was a composer that increased his attractive harmony with a special warmth. Hurd's love for literature and the human voice is indisputable. This second volume of choral music, a two-disc album that includes, in addition to music for choir, a selection of songs for voice and piano, vocals very representative of the English composer. These are songs where the listener can capture the sensitivity and lyricism of Hurd. The poems he choose, all of them with a reflective and intimate character, the chromatic melodies - by the way, very grateful for the voice - and the complex accompaniments of the piano show their way of feeling music and poetry. The different interpretations, wonderfully executed, by Marta Fontanals-Simmons and Sarah Mapplebeck are vibrant, sensitive and magnetism that reaches the listener. David Temple directs the voices of the magnificent choir Hertfordshire Chorus with exquisiteity. It shows the fluidity of the sound articulation of voices that achieve a sound beauty that reveals the creativity of Michael Hurd. Marçal Borotau, sonograma.org
On Michael Hurd’s tombstone are the words “Composer and Author.” He was talented as both and as broadcaster, lecturer, and musical organizer. While perhaps most widely known for his “pop cantatas” he also produced many other works, especially in the choral field.