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The Essential James Galway
Johann PACHELBEL (1653–1706)
Canon [5:09]
Munich Radio Orchestra/John Georgiadis
Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903–1978)
Sabre Dance [2:28]
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Myung-Whun Chung
Cécile CHAMINADE (1857–1944)
Concertino for Flute and Piano, Op. 107 [7:23]
Phillip Moll (piano)
Tamezo NARITA (1893–1945)
Song of the Seashore (Hamabe No Uta) [2:54]
Tokyo String Orchestra/Hiroyuki Iwaki
Jules MASSENET (1842–1912)
Méditation from Thaïs [4:06]
National Philharmonic Orchestra/David Measham
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750)
Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: Minuet and Badinerie [2:41]
National Philharmonic Orchestra/David Measham
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845–1924)
Berceuse from Dolly Suite, Op. 56 [2:54]
National Philharmonic Orchestra/David Measham
Carlo BRICCALDI (?)
The Carnival of Venice, Op. 77 [6:38]
Phillip Moll (piano)
Claude DEBUSSY (1862–1918)
Claire de lune from Suite bergamasque [4:16]
National Philharmonic Orchestra/David Measham
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791)
Concerto No. 2 for Flute and Orchestra in D, K. 314: Rondeau: Allegro {5:44}
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner
Johann Sebastian BACH
Sonata in E flat, BWV 1031: Siciliana [2:12]
Phillip Moll (harpsichord), Sarah Cunningham (viola da gamba)
Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714–1787)
Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Orfeo ed Euridice [7:56]
National Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Gerhardt
Edvard GRIEG (1843–1907)
Morning from Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 [4:03]
National Philharmonic Orchestra/David Measham
Claude DEBUSSY
Syrinx [2:19]
Marisa Robles (harp), Graham Oppenheimer (viola), Chamber Orchestra of Europe/James Galway
Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741)
Concerto, Op. 8 No. 1 in E Spring: Allegro [3:40]
Zagreb Soloists/James Galway
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844–1908)
The Flight of the Bumblebee [1:13]
National Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Gerhardt
James HORNER (b. 1953)
My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from Titanic) [4:48]
London Telefilmonic Orchestra/Mike Mower
Paul SIMON (b. 1941)
El Condor Pasa (If I Could) [2:20]
The Galway Pops Orchestra/Vincent Fanuele
Dolly PARTON (b. 1946)
I Will Always Love You [3:23]
Peter Willison and His Sinfonia Strings
Jay UNGAR (?)
Ashokan Farewell [3:56]
Phil Coulter (piano), David Cooke (keyboards), Ivan Gilliland (guitars), Geraint Roberts (bass guitar), David Bryant (percussion), Frank Gallagher (solo viola), David Downes (concertina), Brendan Monaghan (long drums)
Antonio Carlos JOBIM (1927–1994)
The Girl from Ipanema [5:57]
James Galway (1st flute and alto flute), Mike Mower (2nd and 3rd flute), Neil Angilley (piano), Laurence Cottle (bass), Ian Thomas (drums), Bosco De Oliveira (congas), Dave Pattman (bongos, guiro, cowbell)
Klaus MEINE (b. 1948)
Wind of Change [4:16]
Peter Willison and His Sinfonia Strings
John DENVER (1943–1997)
Annie’s Song [3:06]
National Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Gerhardt
Larry HENLEY (?)
The Wind Beneath My Wings [3:24]
The Galway Pops Orchestra/Vincent Fanuele
Andrew LLOYD-WEBBER (b. 1948)
Memory from Cats [3:29]
Orchestra/James Galway
Bill WHELAN (?)
Riverdance [3:48]
The Tranquility Strings/Therese Timoney
Mike MOWER (?)
Tango del Fuego [2:54]
David Alberman, Clio Gould (violin), Levine Andrade (viola), Andrew Shulman (cello), Alan Dunn (accordion)
Alan MENKEN (b. 1949)
Beauty and the Beast [3:37]
The Galway Pops Orchestra/Julian Lee
Elton JOHN (b. 1947)
Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (from The Lion King) [4:13]
James Galway (flute and tin whistle), London telefilmonic Orchestra/Mike Mower
Traditional
Shenandoah [4:06]
The Nashville String Machine, Shelly Kurland Strings
Traditional
Waltzing Matilda [4:34]
Sydney Symphony Orchestra/David Measham
Henry MANCINI (1924–1994)
The Pink Panther [3:17];
Baby Elephant Walk [3:03]
National Philharmonic Orchestra/Henry Mancini
Traditional/Fred WEATHERLY (1848–1929)
Danny Boy [3:21]
The Chieftains, National Philharmonic Orchestra
No recording dates and venues given. Published 1976–1999.
SONY BMG 82876 80318 2 [66:15 + 68:12]
 


I suspect that there are more music lovers than myself who, having browsed through the above track-list, would question the title “The Essential James Galway”. True, as Jackson Braider says in a short introduction in the booklet, “… frontiers … are there to be crossed …” and Galway has always made excursions into “light music” or whatever other soubriquet for the various genres represented here. He certainly throws his net widely, spanning baroque to impressionism in the “classical” field and covering film, country, folk, Latin American, musical, riverdance and more in the “popular” department. Nothing wrong with that and I believe that as a cross-section of his recording activities during more than twenty years this set will attract lots of listeners. Still I would have thought that for the “essential James Galway” Sony BMG would have looked beyond the obvious “hits” on the classical side. A couple of items somewhat off the beaten track are included, though. Chaminade’s little concertino stands out in its elegance. The Carnival of Venice variations are neat and entertaining. The allegro from Mozart’s second flute concerto is fine with classy backing from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Hearing Debussy’s Syrinx in Galway’s own arrangement is nice for a change. Also it is good to have the excellent Marisa Robles represented here. Whatever perspective one may have on the choice of music it is all extremely professionally performed. I only regret that they didn’t choose his recording of Bach’s B minor suite with the Zagreb Soloists instead – lighter and more stylish. My first encounter with James Galway in the flesh was precisely that combination during the 1976 Dubrovnik Festival.
 
Of the pop items on disc two I thought El Condor Pasa far too rushed and strutting. Simon and Garfunkel’s more flowing “original” is widely preferable. Also Antonio Carlos Jobim’s The Girl from Ipanema is unnecessarily hard-driven and messy. But John Denver’s Annie’s Song is as lovely as I remember it from when it was new. The two Mancini numbers, conducted by the composer, have the authentic touch – and The National Philharmonic play gloriously. In the last item Galway returns to his Irish roots in a beautiful rendering of Danny Boy.
 
What is “essential” is very much up to one’s personal preferences and if this programme feels attractive no one needs to hesitate on technical grounds. Although recorded over a long period and in lots of different venues the sound is consistently good. James Galway’s famous golden tone is everywhere in evidence.
 
Göran Forsling
 

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