Acclaimed baritone Gareth Brynmor John and prize-winning pianist William Vann celebrate the wonder of childhood with a new recording of Fairy Tales, Adventures, Nursery Rhymes and Lullabies. Dedicated to their respective children, the recording takes its name from Charles Ives’s charming setting of Henry Longfellow’s poem, The Children’s Hour.
Gareth Brynmor John comments: “Each of us has two young children, and the patter (or, perhaps, stomping) of tiny feet is now part of the soundscape (cacophony) of our everyday lives. Our programme weaves a tapestry of childhood experience: some tales stray towards the dark and nightmarish, even going as far as death, many are deeply comic, and others are charming or immensely profound. All of them, though, contemplate the wonder of childhood that continues to nourish us as adults, either through direct experience or via our memories.”
Winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award, baritone Gareth Brynmor John studied at Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music where he won the Patrons’ Award, and the National Opera Studio where he was supported by the Royal Opera House. He made his debut with Welsh National Opera singing Schaunard / La Bohème and went on to sing Masetto / Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Papageno / Die Zauberflöte and Robert / Les Vepres Siciliennes all for Welsh National Opera.
This release marks William Vann’s second disc for Champs Hill, and he is delighted to return to a label of which he is very fond. Born in Bedford, he was a Chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, and subsequently read law and took up a choral scholarship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he was taught the piano by Peter Uppard, and studied piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music with Malcolm Martineau and Colin Stone. A multiple-prize-winning and critically acclaimed conductor and accompanist, he is equally at home on the podium or at the piano.