This compilation bears the date 2007, so I’m not sure whether
it’s been given a renewed push now by Atma or whether, like a message
in a bottle, it’s finally found its way to the reviewing shore. Either
way, it only takes us to part-way through counter-tenor Daniel
Taylor’s career, and the last six or seven years must inevitably be a
void, at least here. That’s necessarily going to limit interest, as it
truncates his discography. This is, I must add in Atma’s defence,
largely because Taylor has since begun to record for other labels.
The brief notes announce his many appearances as well as future
engagements for the 2007-08 season. They give us next to nothing about him,
though. They do reprint the booklet covers of the various CDs from which
this disc extracts worthy items. The full catalogue numbers are given,
should you wish to pursue the matter and buy the albums concerned.
Taylor stands at a real remove from the sopranist virtuosi like Max
Emanuel Cencic, and even David Daniels. He sits rather more in the Scholl
School. One can hear the purity and focus of the voice in Hoffmann’s
, which was good enough to have been attributed for many
years to Bach. His Purcell Strike the viol
is stylish and it’s
useful to hear him essaying Bach’s less well-known Bekennen will
ich seinen Namen.
The Buxtehude allows him to unfold a degree of
expressive melancholy, and his vocal subtlety can be savoured in the many
changes of colour that never break the line or draw undue attention to
themselves. There’s a hint of Alfred Deller in the white bleaching of
his tone at certain moments in John Bennett’s The dark is my
Sometimes things are more equivocal. He uses his chest voice in
But who may abide
though it does sound a touch
out of place and he lacks true heft. Ornamentation is discreet. The metre is
varied in Dowland’s Come Again
, where verses get progressively
slower to maintain interest - though it’s not a solution I’d
have adopted, in all honesty. Much the largest piece is the last,
Bach’s cantata Komm, du süsse Todesstunde
in which he
sings in two of the six tracks. The Theater of Early Music is once again
strongly involved. To add variety, there are also some instrumental tracks -
Dowland on the lute played by the able Stephen Stubbs, for instance.
If you’d like to trace Taylor’s early career on disc
this is a useful, though by no means definitive way to do it.