This week's recital (Wednesday 22nd May, 1.10pm in St Stephen's, sung by Katy Garden with Claire Alsop at the piano) gives two sides to the music of twentieth century composers.
First is Rodrigo's Cuatros Madrigales Amatorios, a set of four songs based on much earlier originals, from the 16th century Spanish court of Prince Philip II. The result is a music which is consonant and pretty immediate with its dance rhythms, with large overtones of the late renaissance and early baroque. One commentator suggested that it's among Rodrigo's most folk-orientated works. The words are folk-like, too - simple but ambiguous.
Debussy Ariettes Oubliées is an early project. A set of six songs to words by Paul Verlaine, they show the nascent Impressionistic style. Much more worked than the straightforward melodies of the Rodrigo, they also require virtuosic performances from both the singer and the player. Nevertheless they're compelling works of art, and a hugely important stepping stone on Debussy's path of progression towards his mature style.