Gordon Pullin, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH With an attractive , tenor voice and a pleasant relaxed manner, Gordon Pullin, along with his accompanist John Cooper, presented a programme of songs selected for the season at the King of Hearts.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

With an attractive , tenor voice and a pleasant relaxed manner, Gordon Pullin, along with his accompanist John Cooper, presented a programme of songs selected for the season at the King of Hearts. It came across admirably for two reasons. First, here was a singer with exemplary diction, so we could hear words, follow stories, even share jokes. Second, though he is perfectly capable of performing idiomatic German, he knew that most of his audience would be better served by translations of Peter Cornelius' Christmas Songs.

Pullin also showed how well he could sustain a thrilling line in The Kings, familiar from that Cambridge carol service and demanding great control for its hushed conclusion. Wolf's Epiphany, by contrast, received the extrovert treatment that it needed.

In a group of English songs, Edward Dent's setting of Thomas Hardy's The Oxen was particularly striking. For what was probably its first public performance, Pullin had recovered the manuscript from the Dorchester archives.