> GRAINGER The best of Percy Grainger ABC 465818-2 [JW]: Classical Reviews- January 2002 MusicWeb(UK)






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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

HOFFNUNG for CHRISTMAS? an ideal Christmas present for yourself or your friends.
Books posted the day the order is received



Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961)
The best of Percy Grainger

Country Gardens*
Colheen Dhas
Mock Morris
Molly on the shore
Willow willow
Irish tune from County Derry
Handel in the Strand*
Scotch Strathspey and Reel*
The Power of Love
Lord Peter’s stable boy
Shepherd’s hey

Beautiful fresh flower – orch Peter Sculthorpe
Gum-sucker’s march
Blithe Bells
Cradle song*

The man I love - Gershwin arr Grainger*
Love walked in – Gershwin arr Grainger*
Spoon River
The nightingale and the two sisters
Country gardens

Leslie Howard (piano)*
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
John Hopkins conductor
Geoffrey Simon conductor
ABC CLASSICS 465818-2 [70.27]


SLS 5249 was a well-loved double LP set called The Music of Percy Grainger and it featured two of the orchestras on this new ABC disc as well as one of the conductors and the pianist. So it’s a welcome back to the Symphony Orchestras of Sydney and Adelaide, John Hopkins and to Leslie Howard in this infectious and captivating disc of Grainger favourites. Surprisingly there are not as many Grainger discs in the catalogue as there might be – or should be – and this one is entirely sympathetic to Grainger’s demands.

Topped and tailed with Country Gardens, first on piano then in orchestral guise, the popular Grainger is on show throughout and he ranges geographically far and wide from Ireland to China via Denmark, Norfolk, Victoria and Bradford, Illinois. Grainger’s use of wonderfully chromatic harmonies in even the most popular of pieces – listen to the Irish Tune from County Derry or Danny Boy if you prefer – is bracing and dispels wallowing. Orchestration in the Mock Morris is subtle and affectionate, Willow willow is expanded for orchestral accompaniment and Leslie Howard wittily points the first section of the Scotch Strathspey. The Power of Love receives a suitably passionate performance and Peter Sculthorpe’s orchestration of the Beautiful fresh flower – a piece used by Puccini in Turandot – is affecting and apposite as well as being ethereally enticing. In a whimsical piece of programming it is immediately followed by the Gum Sucker’s March, which is galvanizing enough as it is but earth shattering in the context.

Throughout orchestras, conductors and Leslie Howard in his six solo outings offer richly nuanced and never routine performances. Cogent notes add to the pleasure.

Jonathan Woolf

ORDERING DETAILS

In the UK you can get the disc from mail@seaford-music.co.uk

Orders can be placed by E-MAIL at
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ABC Classics
ph + 61 2 9950 3969
fax + 61 2 9950 3886
godbee.steven@a2.abc.net.au

An enquiry to Steven will I am sure give you all the information you will need about ordering.

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