Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

Thomas LINLEY (1756–1778)
The Song of Moses (1777) [44.13]
Let God Arise (1773) [22.12]
Julia Gooding (soprano)
Sophie Danemen (soprano)
Robin Blaze (alto)
Andrew King (tenor)
Andrew Dale Forbes (bass)
Holst Singers
The Parley of Instruments/Peter Holman
rec. St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 1 -3 November 1997
HYPERION HELIOS CDH55302
[66.31]

 

Experience Classicsonline


Thomas Linley junior died in 1778 at the age of 22, one of the great might-have-beens of English musical history. Son of Thomas Linley senior, harpsichordist, composer and musical director of the Drury Lane Theatre, Thomas junior studied with William Boyce and with Nardini in Italy where he met Mozart, his exact contemporary.

His surviving output includes some extremely confident pieces which display a knowledge not only of the contemporary galant style of London resident Johann Christian Bach but also the older styles of predecessors like Handel.

This recording from Peter Holman, the Parley of Instruments and the Holst Choir has been re-issued on Hyperion’s mid-price Helios label, thus ensuring that two of Linley’s best surviving works are available to all who might be tempted to explore.

And the pieces most definitely are worth exploring. Influenced by the prevailing English tendency to mix old and new, Linley crafted a pair of works which fluently move between galant solos and well wrought Handelian choruses. Linley, or his mentors, seems to have realised that the prevailing galant style was not entirely conducive to large-scale, interesting choruses. This was something that Mozart came to realise later in his career, partly thanks to his contact with Handel’s works when he was re-orchestrating them.

Admittedly the choruses do give Linley’s work as slightly antique quality, and this not helped by the fact that solos are not entirely up to date when it comes to the Viennese school of the time. But that is to split hairs, what we have here are a pair of charming, well written and fluently structured pieces which give testimony to the possibilities which his contemporaries saw in Linley.

In both pieces, The Song of Moses and Let God Arise, it is the confidence with which Linley handles his material that impresses. The pieces move smoothly and easily between chorus, solo passages and full blown solos, well structured so as to create a large-scale whole in a way which Handel would have appreciated.

The Song of Moses is the later and weightier work - in fact it is his final work. It is unfortunate that Linley was lumbered with such a poor libretto, one which duplicates the action of part 3 of Handel’s Israel in Egypt. But even Handel had difficulty finding decent English librettos and whatever dramatic opportunities that the librettist gives, Linley seizes eagerly.

The solos and duets are elaborate, calling for soloists of some stature; they seem to be quite close to mid-18th century operatic models and rather further from the simpler airs which Handel tended to write in his oratorios. We must presume that Linley’s father must have had some good soloists to hand at Drury Lane.

On this disc sopranos Sophie Daneman and Julia Gooding cope admirably and fluently with the elaborate soprano writing, though Gooding does have a few moments when the high soprano part seems to give her pause. Bass Andrew Dale Forbes is entirely confident in his smaller solo passages but it is unfortunate that his single aria, Mong the Gods by men adored, seems to be rather too low for him. Tenor Andrew King has only short solo moments in the opening chorus, which leads me to presume that the role was intended for a chorus leader.

Let God Arise was written for the 1773 Three Choirs Festival and is a confident exercise in the orchestra anthem in the style of Handel and Boyce. The solo moments are relatively short and the whole, solos and choruses, combine into a very satisfactorily build whole.

For those that are curious, Robin Blaze’s name is on the cast list because he contributes a short alto solo to the chorus Magnify Him in Let God Arise.

In both pieces the Holst Singers contribute greatly, making a strong case for Linley’s fine choral writing. Peter Holman and the Parley of Instruments provide sterling instrumental support and some nice solo moments.

The CD booklet includes Peter Holman’s article from the original 1998 issue, along with the English words for both pieces.

This is music which deserves to be better known, it certainly stands up to other contemporary pieces, and these confident performances are an ideal introduction to piece of lost history.

Robert Hugill





 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.