Will & Kate: Over the Rainbow (CR059)

Review by Nick Boston, Classical Notes

Listen and buy now on Convivium Records

Just time before Christmas to add a late review of a lovely disc I received from Convivium Records. Over the Rainbow is a collection of songs and duets performed by brother and sister BBC2 Young Chorister finalists from 2019, Will James and Kate James. There’s a great variety of repertoire here, from Britten’s Corpus Christi Carol, sung with purity of tone by Kate, and a surprisingly haunting rendition of Sleep by Ivor Gurney, with Will adding edge in the lower registers of his treble voice, through to effective arrangements by George Arthur of the Robbie Williams classic, Angels, and the title track, Over the Rainbow. In the latter, the arrangement has the blended voices colliding beautifully, and there’s poignancy in the added cello (from Sarah Butcher). Angels again effectively matches the two voices, creating a rippling duet over a lilting piano accompaniment – played as throughout the disc by Malcolm Archer. In these lighter numbers, Will and Kate might have relaxed their impeccable chorister diction, but these are nevertheless enjoyable renditions. George Arthur’s arrangements of Simple Gifts and Were you there? also make great use of weaving and twisting the two blended voices together, and in Were you there?, he makes great use of the overlapping, clashing parts, as well as using echoes as the voices tumble over each other, and the piano tolls out the bells in the final verse. Will brings a mournful tone, and a little more expression to Dowland’s Flow, my tears, and Katehe Turtle Dove, in Vaughan Williams arrangement, has more depth of tone too, with a suitably folk simplicity. There’s lots more here – sixteen tracks in all – and this is a highly impressive collection from two clearly talented young singers. Definitely worth checking out – perhaps a last minute Christmas present, if you get in quick!

Nick Boston, Classical Notes, December 2020

Further information

Classical Notes


Nick’s Classical Notes is a blog containing reviews of recordings and concerts, as well as articles about composers, compositions and upcoming events.  The emphasis is on western classical repertoire, but Nick is open to many genres of music. Nick has an MA in Music, specialising in performance and repertoire. He is passionate about choral, chamber and orchestral music, and opera, with a particular interest in early music. He sings in a number of choirs in the south east of England, plays the piano and occasionally dusts off the violin. He also writes about music for Bachtrack and GScene magazine.

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Convivium Records

Convivium Records

Convivium Records (est. 2009) is committed to working with exceptional artists and composers to record and share their music. It recognises that a great recording project needs to establish a balance between artistic aspirations and commercial expectations. In addition to commercial releases, the label takes on private projects for schools, charities and other institutions.

Convivium Records involves musicians and composers in all decisions relating to their projects. For instance, this may include initial discussions about a new album, to recording, distribution, promotion and marketing.

At the heart of Convivium Records is a dedicated team, each of whom bring their expertise to projects as required. Above all, the Label’s ambition is to exceed the expectations of their clients by creating recordings that reflect their true potential.

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