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“THE BARD OF ARMACH.” James McCracken, tenor;...

“THE BARD OF ARMACH.” James McCracken, tenor; John Atkins, piano. EMI-Angel DDM 7 69711 2 (compact disc). Although the size of the late American tenor’s discography was scarcely commensurate with his gifts, McCracken’s memory is ill-served by this remastered reissue of a 1978 recital of seventeen Irish and Scottish songs. Casual charm and unforced lyricism were not priority items for this international-class Otello and Don Jose; the tradition of Kenneth McKellar and John McCormack was not the tradition from which he descended. McCracken negotiates the material without strain, but without noticeable affinity for its homespun homilies. For fans only.


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