I don’t like it when classical singers sing folk music

Posted on 21 August 2010


The world of guitarist Richard Thompson

By David Honigmann

Published: August 21 2010 00:57 | Last updated: August 21 2010 00:57

He is starting a new project, Nutmeg And Ginger, with the early music specialist Philip Pickett, a long-time collaborator and leader of the Musicians Of the Globe. This promises spicy ballads from Shakespearean London, on recorder, rebec, viol and cittern. “He wanted to do something with his consort and more of a folky kind of voice rather than with a classically trained singer,” says Thompson. “Which I also think is a good idea. I don’t like it when classical singers sing folk music. Opera singers singing opera thrill and delight me, but when they transgress into other areas I get upset.” What upsets him is over-enunciation. “Every syllable – it’s an artificial way of singing to achieve volume and clarity in an unmiked room. It sounds too arch. There’s too much artifice. It doesn’t sound natural. I don’t believe that Elizabethan music was sung in that way.”

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