PHI CD 157:
Thomas Hemsley Baritone David Wilde Piano
Franz Schubert Schwanengesang D 957 Previously unissued 1976 recordings
Thomas Hemsley was born at Coalville, Leicestershire in 1927, after completing his studies in Physics at Brasenose College, Oxford, he studied singing privately in London and Cologne with Lucie Manen. His Operatic Debut was in the 1951 Festival of Britain, where at the Mermaid Theatre, he partnered Kirsten Flagstad in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. For more than 15 years he was a resident member of Opera companies in Germany and Switzerland (Aachen, Düsseldorf, Zurich). In 1967 he returned to England where he sang with all the major Opera companies, and extended his concert activity. In 1968 and the following years he sang the part of Beckmesser in Bayreuth's centenary production of Die Meistersinger. Altogether Thomas Hemsley has sung more than 150 operatic roles, and a very large concert repertoire, particularly of German Lieder. Together with Irmgard Seefried he gave performances of Hugo Wolf's Italian and Spanish Songbooks throughout Europe. He was associated with composers Vaughan Williams, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Britten, Walton, Tippett, Henze, in performances of their own works, and created roles in operas by the last four of these. Thomas Hemsley retired from public singing in 1989. His recordings include: Purcell: Dido & Aeneas (EMI), Gluck: Alceste (Decca), Britten: A Midsummers Night's Dream (Decca), Holst: Savitri (Argo), Tippett: The Knot Garden (Phillips), Wagner: Die Meistersinger (CALIG), Brahms: Liebeslieder-Walzer (BBC) and Handel: Saul (Vanguard). In recent years he has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has given many Master-Classes in England and Scandinavia, including a series for BBC TV, and Danish TV. His recent book Singing & Imagination (O.U.P. - I.S.B.N. 0-19-879015-3) has been widely acclaimed.
David Wilde, was born in 1935, and gave his first public performance at the age of six. After lessons with Solomon and Franz Reizenstein, he studied piano and composition at the Royal Manchester College of Music with Iso Elinson and Richard Hall, and in France with Nadia Boulanger. He was awarded Equal First Prize at the 1961 Budapest Liszt-Bartock competition, and the First Queen's Prize, London 1962. A distinguished international career led to his appointment as professor of Piano in Hannover in 1981. His recordings include Schumann's Fantasie Op. 17 and Liszt's Sonata (SAGA), Thomas Wilson's Piano Concerto (CHANDOS), and the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas with Erich Gruenberg (CDR). His compositions include a piano trio, a string quartet, and a series of works concerned with the tragedy of Bosnia-Herzegovina. His opera London under Seige was given its premiere in Hannover in January 1999.