Ashley Riches’ debut recital album, “A Musical Zoo”, is released today on Chandos Records. Joining the British baritone on the recording is pianist Joseph Middleton – together they explore all-things animal through 160 years of music. Schubert’s Trout, Ravel’s Swan and Britten’s Crocodile all make an appearance, showcasing the Ashley’s versatility across German Lieder, French mélodie and English song.
Writing in the booklet, Ashley explains how “the text of a song may outline to us what we see, but the flutterings of Schubert’s Birds, the flicking antennae of Shostakovich’s Cockroach, the rush of notes with which Ravels Peacock spreads its tail these are movements and energies accessible to music alone… animals, like music, remind us of the part of us which is most alive, most free.”
The release adds to Ashley’s growing discography which includes songs by Sir Arthur Sullivan, Bach’s St John Passion and Bernstein’s Wonderful Town – the latter with the London Symphony under Sir Simon Rattle. Next month he continues his collaborates with Middleton at Wigmore Hall, while other forthcoming highlights include a recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Tippet’s Midsummer Mariage with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a tour with the Kammerorchester Basel.
” A Music Zoo” can be downloaded here.