The build up to the release of Classic FM’s composer in residence, Debbie Wiseman’s newest album has caught the attention of many, including myself. This unique collaboration between Wiseman and gardener guru, radio presenter, and author, Alan Titchmarsh, does not disappoint in the slightest.
There are two distinctive roles within this album, we firstly have Titchmarsh reading his own original poetry, which is all based around gardening. To portray this Wiseman responds with musical interludes, and I do believe this is the first album of its kind, amalgamating music and words aimed at those who love all things gardening. The final track on the album, “The Glorious Garden” sees both poetry and music come together, creating perfect harmony.
It really is difficult to pinpoint my favourite track on this album, because I believe they are all so unique and full of their own character. I must say, I do enjoy the softness of “Snowdrop”, and the coming together of different art forms for “The Glorious Garden”. Wiseman’s empathetic composition style fits perfectly with a natural theme, such as gardening. Her style seems to pay homage to the likes of Vaughan Williams and George Butterworth, due to many of her musical interludes sounding ‘quintessentially British’. Both the music and poetry is evocative, moving and really does transport you into new worlds you never thought you’d go to.
The musicianship you can hear from the National Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Perry Montague, does this delightful music justice. Some fantastic solo work from violinist Jack Liebeck and others. Due to such a high calibre of music making on this album, it creates a sense of ease, and one can focus on personal interpretation of the music. The delicate nature of all of these musical portraits very much represents Titchmarsh’s sense of poetic style, which is most pleasing.
With twelve original poems and compositions, The Glorious Garden is full of hidden gems that are ready to be explored. I have no qualms as to why this new collaborative album has gone straight to No. 1 on the Classic FM Classical Chart. It’s sheer charm and elegance alone deserves that kind of recognition. This kind of intelligent collaboration is what we need in the classical music world. Interdisciplinary arts are becoming much more favourable, and it is fantastic to see leading musicians and artists collaborating and creating such fine art for the world to enjoy.
You can enjoy The Glorious Garden via this link
© Alex Burns 2018