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EMI Classics British Composers boxes – A Feature Review
 
BRITTEN 5099909539556 EMI Classics
LIGHTER ELGAR 5099909542228 EMI Classics
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS 5099909543355 EMI Classics
DELIUS 5099909540552 EMI Classics
British Composers - A Celebration 5099909548053 EMI Classics
Full content-listing at end of review
 
 

INTRODUCTION
 
This quartet of four five-CD sets are only available separately; same goes for the 2 CD sampler. Each thick card wallet has extremely respectable sets of liner notes but sung words are not reproduced.
 
The EMI British Composers series has been around for getting on for two decades now and these boxes simply repackage individually issued discs. The price is irresistible if you hanker after the ripely English repertoire to which EMI Classics is a prime source. The discs are each homed in their own sensible card envelopes.
 
 

BRITTEN-WALTON-TIPPETT
 
The Britten-Walton-Tippett set is an exemplar of the excellence found in the EMI house tradition. There are whoopingly good recordings of the Spring Symphony and the Four Sea Interludes – sadly the Grimes - Passacaglia is not included. What a stunning team Previn and the LSO made! If you doubt it just listen to the Storm Interlude and the syncopated birdsong in the now rarely heard Symphony. The violin concertos by Britten and Walton are played by Ida Haendel with typically sweetly penetrating tone placed amid the seething, dramatic and emollient orchestral canvas articulated by Berglund and the Bournemouth Symphony. What a great player Haendel is. Her reading of the Walton has been part of the backdrop to my life along with the more ferociously ardent Heifetz (with the composer) and, from left-field, the glorious Francescatti (Sony). The two concertos set each other off very nicely with the Walton being the more succulently romantic of the two and the Britten itself being at the romantic end of Britten’s own spectrum.
 
After lushly seductive orchestral pastures we turn for catharsis to the assertively recorded and performed CD 3. Britten is pleased to oblige via the statuesque gestures and wit of the Suite for violin and piano. Britten relaxes a little for the glittering final movement. The earnest little Elegy (1930) is in the hands of Paul Silverthorne and his viola. Moray Welsh in this recording shows himself a most masterly cellist. Such a pity that his 1979 broadcast of the Foulds Cello Sonata with Ronald Stevenson appears not to be available to issue. His stirring and atmospheric Britten Cello Sonata with John Lenehan is superb. Roy Carter leads the listener through the plaintive fields that are the Six Metamorphoses; one senses that he is a supplicant for our attention rather than shouting that we must. The result is that we want to attend to this reed singer.
 
After Britten the chamber music composer we now encounter Walton in the same genre. The Piano Quartet (1921) is redolent of Howells’ example. The two would play well in the same programme. It’s not typical mature Walton but fascinating anyway. Will we ever hear his contemporaneous overture Doctor Syntax, I wonder? Next comes the Violin Sonata (1947-49) – which is mature Walton. It will be recalled that Christopher Palmer orchestrated the work to make of it a companion to the Violin Concerto. However it is a strong work in its own right and emerges so in the hands of Janice Graham and John Alley who also played the Britten Suite on CD 3. This time all the Walton hallmarks are glowingly present. The warmly Mediterranean Five Bagatelles are most adeptly played by Tom Kerstens. Glorious full DDD sound enhances the seductive effect. These five pieces were orchestrated as the Varii Capricci and should be heard more often in that format.
 
The last disc in the set is given over to Marriner’s Tippett in vivid 1995 recordings. The Divertimento skips, chirrups and rollocks along in the sort of argot reserved by British composers for such English folksong jollies. There‘s Britten’s A Time There Was, Moeran’s Serenade and RVW’s Folksong Suite. It’s all very pleasing. When we eventually get to hear Tippett’s folk-opera Robin Hood it will presumably sound similar. By contrast the pleasant Little Music for Strings while strongly put across is rather cool and monochrome. The Sonata for Four Horns is stirringly and poetically advocated by the Michael Thompson Horn Quartet. That said I though the textures more successfully resolved in the hands of the Universal competition from the mid- 1960s: The disc ends very well indeed with the Concerto for Double String Orchestra. It’s a work in the bloodstream of Marriner and the Academy.
 
 

LIGHTER ELGAR – STANFORD - PARRY
 
This box kicks off with the gentle undemonstrative charm of the Lighter Elgar as purveyed by Marriner and the Northern Sinfonia with just two of the 19 tracks given over to the RPO and Lawrance Collingwood. The next disc mixes Elgar and Stanford under the baton of Norman Del Mar. From the light music to the six songs that make up From the Bavarian Highlands is but a small stride. It reflects Elgar’s direct affection for Germany. Dating from 1895-96 it is a sweetly poignant souvenir of the young couple’s holiday in Bavaria in 1894. The writing is irresistibly innocent and wonderfully pointed by artists and engineers. There’s everything to be moved by here and nothing to dislike. This Del Mar Stanford Third Symphony was the work’s first commercial recording. It’s Brahmsian first movement is offset by the jiggy Allegro moderato vivace with a bardic harp ushering in the Andante before the sturdy finale. This symphony can loosely be bracketed with the Irish Symphonies of Harty and Sullivan. Highly entertaining music-making. The other side of the RCM’s Stanford-Parry hegemony can be heard in CD 3 with the sophisticated light music that is An English Suite. The Caprice and Frolic movements are carefree effusions which must have provided inspiration for the likes of Binge and other denizens of the light orchestral repertoire. Before we reach the Lady Radnor’s Suite we hear the slowly reverent tragedy of Elgar’s Elegy and the breathy Sospiri with its harper’s melancholia. Very moving. The Serenade for Strings is heard before the Lady Radnor work – the latter at times redolent of Brahmsian Purcell kept airborne and motile by Richard Hickox. Disc 4 leads us into the purple realm of Stanford’s choral church music. Out of the ordinary run is For lo, I raise up which is buoyed up by a stormy swell as is the organ piece Postlude in D minor. Otherwise this music evokes or is from a peaceable kingdom.
 
The last disc in the set was largely recorded at one of Boult's final sessions. Parry is much more than a museum piece. The language of this music moves between Brahms and Schumann, leaning more toward Brahms. You can hear that from the very start of the Fifth Symphony in which Boult, even at his then advanced age, catches all the conflagration that blazes through Parry's equally fiery First Symphony - see the Nimbus recording made by William Boughton. The Fifth is more concise than his earliest symphony and runs to four tersely-titled movements: Stress, Love, Play, Now. These titles are in themselves fascinating - noting the change from states of existence to a temporal statement (Now) in which the emotional state can only be extracted from listening to the music. This is warmly Brahmsian in the manner of the Second and Fourth symphonies with a Viennese Schubertian lilt in Play. The finale is the longest movement at 7:40. The start of Play is redolent of Elgar's Enigma. This has a touch of Nobilmente as well as Straussian exuberance. Twenty-five years earlier had come Parry's Blest Pair of Sirens set to Milton's poem At a Solemn Music. It here receives a golden sunburst of a recording notable for the tonal weight of the choir even if sung unanimity is not always its strength. This recording was made in 1966. The Symphonic Variations are sturdy but take a while to catch the heavenly fire. Parry's magnificent way with the striding horns can be heard at 2:12. How good it would be to hear these Variations alongside the similarly grand Elegiac Variations by Thomas Dunhill. Parry's overture-length Elegy for Brahms had to wait until 1918 for its premiere. At that stage it had been revised by Stanford who conducted it at the Parry Memorial Concert at the RCM on 8 November 1918. Boult makes this Elegy shine in a golden aureole which celebrates Brahms rather than laments his passing. It’s a golden anthology - well worth the outlay alongside Nimbus's recording of the First Symphony (Boughton – magnificently alive), Boult's Lyrita collection and Bamert's Chandos Parry cycle.
 
 

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS – BAX - FINZI
 
I was raised on the Westbrook version of An Oxford Elegy. All lovers of the English language should flock to that work and that recording though the Nimbus version from Jack May is pretty good too. Such a potent combination - Westbrook's voice and the nostalgic sweetness of Vaughan Williams’ music. The redolent pleasure of this overpowering poetic impression is in no way blunted by a benevolently low-key bed of analogue hiss. The recording is very generously tracked so favourite extracts can easily be tracked down. The Oxford Elegy is complemented by the Whitsunday Hymn sung by the clean-voiced tenor Robin Doveton, Flos Campi and Sancta Civitas. As for Flos Campi, I love the Jacques reading but Frederick Riddle’s version now on Chandos is also good and his tone production is less tremulous than that of Cecil Aronowitz. It used to be on an RCA LP with the suite for viola and orchestra. Sancta Civitas is perfectly put across by golden age regulars: Ian Partridge and John Shirley-Quirk. The second disc has the classic version by John Shirley-Quirk of Five Mystical Songs. The bustling and ascending euphoria of Easter and Antiphon has not been equalled elsewhere and the O Clap Your Hands has that new-risen sunshine confidence carried by the voices and the brass. We then turn to RVW’s friend,. Holst and his Choral Fantasia. This is a stern apocalyptic work is lofted higher into the mysteries by the laser-strong voice of Janet Baker. It belongs in the same company as The Hymn of Jesus. Less perfervid and more gently devotional is Holst’s Psalm 86 as sung by Ian Partridge. Holst then bows out to allow for Finzi’s Dies Natalis in the classic version sung by Wilfred Brown. It was at one time the only catalogue representation of this composer but the Finzi revival soon filled in the picture around this work of the ecstatically blessed mystery of childhood. Its seraphic vocal and instrumental lines link with another childhood centred work – Intimations of Immortality. There’s more Finzi to come on both CDs 3 and 4. However before then we should note the plainchant-accented RVW Mass in G minor in its original and still pristine 1968 recording. The Finzi choir and organ pieces are Lo, the Full, final Sacrifice and the Magnificat. Also there is God is Gone Up which I recall recording off the radio in the 1970s and playing to death simply because I was so desperate to hear and rehear anything by Finzi. These Finzi pieces are done with murmurous devotional fervour. The Bax pieces are well worth having though I do think that the great Mater Ora Filium needs female voices to make its most tellingly crowned effect around the ululating sleet of ‘alleluias’. Back to Finzi for disc 4. I was smitten with his Intimations some years before the Lyrita/Partridge/Handley LP (SRCS75) came out in 1974. Once again I had recorded on a Philips reel-to-reel machine, a broadcast, this time by Philip Langridge (then in steady golden voice) with the BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra and Ashley Lawrence. Eventually I managed to transfer this, blips and all, to a cassette and again played it to a frazzle. When the Lyrita came out I borrowed it from the library – hey I was an impecunious student in Bristol at the time, folks. Partridge was even better and that analogue recording remains the recording of choice with this Hickox one not far behind. Strangely enough the downside for me is the state of Langridge’s voice during these recording sessions. He sounds strained and his vibrato intrudes occasioning some damage. Listen to the tremble on the word ‘Glories’ in track 6 and the word ‘Oh!’ in tr. 8. I am very sensitive to these things. Others will have less of a problem, I am sure. The rumba-calypso in Then sing ye birds is a delightful barrage of collective vocal tone, percussion and brassy splendour. The Grand Fantasia and Toccata for piano and orchestra was superbly despatched by Katin on Lyrita and by Leon McCawley at last year’s Proms (2010). It is great fun in its Allegro Vigoroso standing at the confluence of Nights in the Gardens of Spain, Walton’s Sinfonia Concertante and Moeran’s Rhapsody No. 3. Philip Fowke gives it a blazingly imperious spin. The last disc takes us back to Holst with his signature work The Planets in Boult’s penultimate 1966 version rubbing shoulders with Previn’s sparklingly colourful versions of The Perfect Fool ballet music – an essay in dazzling Rimskian hues - and the stark tragedy of Egdon Heath which stands at the other and more profound extreme. The Perfect Fool dances have been blessed indeed in the recording studios. Sargent (EMI) and Boult (Decca – just redone by HDTT) have each made stunning versions. This one is in their company. I again put in a plea for a recording of the complete opera – The Perfect Fool. Having heard several radio broadcasts over the years I can assure the companies that it is very entertaining – and more to the point would go onto one disc. Boult’s 1966 recording with the New Philharmonia was a mainstay of the lists for many years and hearing it again one can see why. It only cedes its place to Boult’s final digital version in terms of recording quality. That said this 1966 recording has been made using the Decca style guide when it comes to vivid audio balances. It is very enjoyable and resplendent in orchestral detailing both foregrounded and subtly distanced yet still registering.
 
 

DELIUS – HOWELLS - HADLEY
 
The final 5 disc volume has Delius in the limelight. This is the Delius of the big choral sound rather than the orchestral miniatures.
 
Disc 1 leads us with effortless honey into the Songs of Sunset in Groves’ 1968 Liverpool version. These Dowson settings are still affecting not least when Baker and Shirley-Quirk duet. The Danish-inspired cloud-hung An Arabesque works well leading to the start of A Mass of Life, another Groves product, this time with the LPO. The singing is lovely and sheer but lacks the impact of later versions including the much earlier though unrefined Beecham (Sony and Pristine) – electric! - and the Del Mar off-air recording which sports none other than the young Kiri Te Kanawa as the soprano. Still it is wonderful again to hear Heather Harper – she who made such a memorably voluptuous event of the Chandos recording of Harty’s Ode on a Grecian Urn. Groves is very good indeed and richly enjoyable but for that turbo-charge you need to hear Beecham and Del Mar.
 
After two discs of rapturously saturated choral and vocal tone CD 3 offers us some remission and relaxation. This in the shape of three chamber works. First there’s the Howells Fantasy String Quartet – also recorded by the Richards Quartet on Lyrita. His chamber works of the 1910s and 1920s are the intensified quintessence of pastoral ecstasy. Then comes the String Quartet No. 3 In Gloucestershire. Howells faces a greater challenge to sustain the folksy language across half an hour and four movements. This is brought off with frictionless celerity and emotional fluency by the Britten Quartet. The sound places the music directly in front of you. By comparison the earlier Hyperion version (Divertimenti), intrinsically every bit as good, gives the listener more space and light. The Delius String Quartet is similarly warm and flowing and has more of a sense of movement than you might expect. The luscious sound compares well with the still pleasing Fitzwilliam version on Eloquence. The blousy glancing charm of the finale registers very pleasingly indeed. Lovely!
 
More Howells follows and takes us back to the big themes and massed forces. We start with Hymnus Paradisi in the classic Willcocks analogue recording from the 1960s. It’s a most ambitious and moving work axiomatically written ‘from the heart’ yet not so passionate that it loses focus. The focus is laser sharp throughout. The emotional velocity and stopping power is devastating; more accurately its power to speak with balm and transcendence to the soul brooks and needs no explanation. The hairs on the nape of the neck rise with the light-filled words “passing wonderful” at 4:47. Howells was to return to such realms again in Missa Sabrinensis and in doing so must surely have been inspired by the dazzle of the empowered choral singing in A Mass of Life. After Hymnus we come to the Concerto for String Orchestra conducted by Boult. It streams with sun-filled energy and laments deeply making it a confident companion to Elgar Introduction and Allegro, RVW Tallis Fantasia, Bliss Music for Strings and Tippett Concerto for Double String Orchestra.
 
Patrick Hadley forms the last partner in the stylistic triumvirate. Indeed Hadley presided over performances of large-scale Delius works at Cambridge including prophetically, Song of the High Hills. First we hear two very short pieces for choir and orchestra. These serve to confirm Hadley’s sensitivity to word-setting with the rapturous My beloved spake and the understated ecstasy of I sing of a maiden – a Christmastide text also favoured by Bax. The Hills is one of Hadley’s big secular works. The Trees So High is on Lyrita and Fen and Flood has just been recorded by Albion in RVW’s arrangement for mixed voices and orchestras. That leaves the cantata Connemara, La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Ephemera. The orchestration is super-fine and steely. We are the Hills reveals again that debt to the lofty ecstasy of Delius but the words keep earthing us with the young couple. “Now climb on, climb on aloft together …. Higher now we climb!” has a euphoric Puccinian kick. The orchestra explodes in ecstasy at 1:23 and the final eruption lifts the roof off recalling a similar end of movement moment in Elgar’s Second Symphony. In Taxal Woods is a dreamy love scene duet – not to be missed. The Wedding Scene ripples with energy. Nonsense words scatter happiness and excitement left and right. The couple’s life is rounded with a sleep and their spirits meet again under the beatitude of the Derbyshire hills; the very same hills that saw their first love.
 
British Composers - A Celebration
 
This is a 2 CD sampler for the whole British Composers series. It is useful if you are unfamiliar with the territory and would like to be swept along in briefing encounters with a wide spread of British composers. Entertaining on a car journey or downloaded onto your mp3 player as a combination of quiz and fleeting listening. A reminder to explore and an intrinsic pleasure.
 

Overview
 
EMI Classics’ leadership in the field of British music is affirmed yet again with these generously stocked and attractively priced sets. If the repertoire and performances suit then hasten now to add these no compromise bargain boxes to your collection. They will not be available indefinitely.
 

Rob Barnett


 

Full content-listing

 

BRITTEN, WALTON & TIPPETT
CD 1 [61:05]
Britten: Spring Symphony, Op. 44
Sheila Armstrong (soprano), Dame Janet Baker (contralto), Robert Tear (tenor)
St Clement Danes School Boys’ Choir, London Symphony Chorus, Richard Hickox
Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, Op. 33a
London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn
CD 2 [62:25]
Britten Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 15
Ida Haendel (violin) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Berglund
Walton: Violin Concerto
Ida Haendel (violin)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Berglund
CD 3 [58:18]
Britten Suite Op. 6
Aléxander Barantschik (violin), John Alley (piano)
Britten Elegy for unaccompanied viola
Paul Silverthorne (viola)
Britten Sonata for cello and piano in C major, Op. 65
Moray Welsh (cello), John Lenehan (piano)
Britten Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for solo oboe, Op. 49
Roy Carter (oboe)
CD 4 [69:1]
Walton: Piano Quartet
Janice Graham (violin), Paul Silverthorne (viola), Moray Welsh (cello), Israela Margalit (piano)
Walton: Violin Sonata
Janice Graham (violin), John Alley (piano)
Walton: Five Bagatelles for solo guitar
Tom Kerstens (guitar)
CD 5 [66:6]
Tippett: Divertimento on Sellinger's Round
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sir Neville Marriner
Tippett: Little Music for String Orchestra
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sir Neville Marriner
Tippett: Sonata for four horns
Michael Thompson Horn Quartet: Michael Thompson, Jeffrey Bryant, Richard Watkins, Hugh Seenan
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sir Neville Marriner
Tippett: Concerto for double string orchestra
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sir Neville Marriner

BRITTEN 5099909539552 EMI Classics

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LIGHTER ELGAR; STANFORD & PARRY
CD 1 [78:40]
Elgar: Chanson de Matin, Op. 15 No. 2, Minuet from Beau Brummel, Starlight Express: My Old Tunes (Organ-Grinder's Song No. 5), Starlight Express: To the Children (Organ-Grinder’s Song No.1), The Wand of Youth Suite No. 1, Op. 1a: Sun Dance, Dream Children, Op. 43, Salut d'amour, Op. 12,
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Lawrance Collingwood
Elgar: Minuet, May Song, Rosemary, Romance, Op. 62, Sevillana, Sérénade lyrique, Three Characteristic Pieces, Carissima, Mina
Northern Sinfonia Orchestra, Sir Neville Marriner
CD 2 [70:00]
Elgar: Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op.27
Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra Norman Del Mar
Stanford: Symphony No. 3 in F minor 'Irish', Op. 28
Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Norman Del Mar
CD 3 [60:49]
Elgar: Elegy for strings, Op. 58
City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox
Elgar: Sospiri, Op. 70
City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox
Elgar: Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20
City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox
Parry: An English Suite
City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox
Parry: Lady Radnor's Suite
City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox
CD 4 [75:26]
Stanford: Evening Service (Magnificat & Nunc dimittis) in G major, Op. 81
Alastair Hussain (treble), Francis Brett (bass)
Stanford: For lo, I raise up, Op. 145
Thomas Hopkinson (treble), Edward Gardner (tenor)
Stanford: A Song of Peace, Op. 113, No. 4
John Mark Ainsley (tenor)
Stanford: O for a closer walk with God, Op. 113 No. 6
Stanford: Morning, Evening and Communion Services in C Op. 115
James Vivian (organ scholar)
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Stephen Cleobury
CD 5 [75:26]
Parry Symphony No. 5 in B minor 'Symphonic Fantasia'
Parry Blest Pair of Sirens
London Philharmonic Choir
Parry Symphonic Variations (1897)
Parry Elegy for Brahms
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult
LIGHTER ELGAR 5099909542228 EMI Classics

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VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, FINZI & HOLST
CD 1 [77:23]
Vaughan Williams: An Oxford Elegy
John Westbrook (speaker) Jacques Orchestra
Vaughan Williams: Whitsunday Hymn
Robin Doveton (tenor)
Vaughan Williams: Flos Campi
Cecil Aronowitz (viola) Jacques Orchestra,
Vaughan Williams: Sancta Civitas
Ian Partridge (tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)
Jacques Orchestra
CD 2 [71:26]
Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs
John Shirley-Quirk (baritone) English Chamber Orchestra, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
Vaughan Williams: O Clap Your Hands (Psalm 47)
English Chamber Orchestra, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
Holst: A Choral Fantasia, H177
Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano)
Purcell Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Imogen Holst
Holst: Psalm 86
Ian Partridge (tenor) Purcell Singers, English Chamber Orchestra, Imogen Holst
Finzi Dies natalis, Op. 8
Wilfred Brown (tenor)
English Chamber Orchestra, Christopher Finzi
CD 3 [72:54]
Vaughan Williams: Mass in G minor
John Eaton (treble), Nigel Perrin (alto), Robin Doveton (tenor), David van Asch (bass) Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
Bax Mater Ora Filium
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
Bax I sing of a maiden that is makeless
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
Bax This Worldes Joie
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
Finzi Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice, Op. 26
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
Finzi God is gone up, Op. 27 No. 2
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
Finzi Magnificat, Op. 36
Graham Green & Bruce Blyth (trebles)
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
CD 4 [60:56]
Finzi Intimations of Immortality, Op. 29
Philip Langridge (tenor) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, Richard Hickox
Finzi Grand Fantasia and Toccata, Op. 38
Philip Fowke (piano)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Hickox
CD 5 [76:44]
Holst: The Planets, Op. 32
New Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult
Holst: Egdon Heath, a homage to Thomas Hardy, Op.47
London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn
Holst: The Perfect Fool, Op. 39/H 150: Ballet Music
London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn

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DELIUS, HOWELLS & HADLEY

CD 1 [75:07] and 2 [66:05]

Delius Songs of Sunset
Dame Janet Baker (mezzo), John Shirley-Quirk (baritone) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, Sir Charles Groves
Delius An Arabesque
John Shirley-Quirk (baritone) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, Sir Charles Groves
Delius A Mass of Life
Heather Harper (soprano), Helen Watts (contralto), Robert Tear (tenor), Benjamin Luxon (baritone) London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Choir, Sir Charles Groves
CD 3 [72:30]
Howells Phantasy String Quartet, Op. 25
Britten Quartet
Howells In Gloucestershire, (String Quartet No. 3)
Britten Quartet
Delius String Quartet (1916)
Britten Quartet
CD 4 [74:04]
Howells Hymnus Paradisi
Heather Harper (soprano), Robert Tear (tenor)
New Philharmonia Orchestra, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Bach Choir, Sir David Willcocks
Howells Concerto for string orchestra
Dennis Simons & Robert Growcott (violins), John Chambers (viola), Alexander Cameron (cello) London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult
CD 5 [41:46]
Patrick Hadley:My beloved spake
James Lancelot (organ) Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Sir David Willcocks
Patrick Hadley I sing of a maiden
Francis Grier (organ) Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Philip Ledger
Patrick Hadley The Hills
Felicity Palmer (soprano), Robert Tear (tenor), Robert Lloyd (bass)
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Cambridge University Musical Society Chorus, Philip Ledger

 


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British Composers - A Celebration

TRACKLISTING
CD 1 [76:26]:
Elgar 1 Sun Dance (Wand of Youth Suite No.1, Op.1a No.4) (1996 Digital Remaster) 2:37
2 Marigold, Op.78 (1996 Digital Remaster) 2:53
Britten Saint Nicolas, Op.42 (1995 Digital Remaster)
3 The Birth of Nicolas 2:39
Howells String Quartet 'in Gloucestershire' (No. 3)
4 II. Fairly quick, but always rhythmical 2:10
Walton Symphony No.1 in A Flat, Op.55 (1985 Digital Remaster)
5 II. Allegro molto - 1:34
Walton Troilus and Cressida (1992 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene II
6 From isle to isle chill waters (Cressida/Troilus) 2:37
Maw Dance Scenes
7 IV. Molto allegro 2:29
8 Ave Maria, Op.2 No. 2 (1996 Digital Remaster) 2:40
Berners The Triumph of Neptune - Suite
9 VII. Hornpipe (Allegro molto) 1:34
Finzi Dies natalis, Op.8 (1990 Digital Remaster)
10 2. Rhapsody (Recitativo stromentato) 2:31
Parry Symphony No. 5 in D (1994 Digital Remaster)
11 III. Romanza (Lento) 1:52
12 Blest Pair of Sirens (1987 Digital Remaster) 2:30
Bliss Checkmate (Ballet Suite) (1993 Digital Remaster)
13 VI. Finale: Checkmate 2:35
Britten Peter Grimes, Op.33 (1993 Digital Remaster), Act 2 Scene 2
14 In dreams I've built myself some kindlier home (Peter) 2:47
Britten Violin Concerto (1993 Digital Remaster)
15 Slower - 1:35
Holst The Planets
16 IV. Jupiter, The Bringer Of Jollity 2:11
17 Loch Lomond (1995 Digital Remaster) 3:40
18 Canadian Carnival, Op.19 2:37
Holst At the Boar's Head, Op.42 (1995 Digital Remaster)
19 We two saw you four (Prince) 2:10
Tippett Divertimento on 'Sellinger's Round'
20 III. Presto 1:47
21 Greater love hath no man 1:41
Arnold English Dances, Op.33 (1996 Digital Remaster)
22 5. Allegro non troppo (1996 Digital Remaster) 2:59
RVW On Wenlock Edge (1987 Digital Remaster)
23 II. From far, from eve and morning 2:60
Moeran Sinfonietta, I. Allegro con brio
24 II. Tema con variazioni: 0:52
Bax 25 Mater ora filium 2:20
Violin Sonata (1996 Digital Remaster), II. Variazioni
26 Var.6 (Scherzando) 0:29
Cello Concerto in D
27 II. Andante espressivo - 2:58
Turnage 28 Three Screaming Popes 1:37
Arnold Concerto for Two Pianos (Three Hands), Op.104
29 III. Allegro 1:19
Britten The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op.34
30 Fugue (Allegro molto) 2:45
Elgar String Quartet in E Minor, Op.83
31 II. Piacevole (poco andante) 1:39
Warlock 32 The Lady's Birthday (Sociable Songs, No. 3) (1994 Digital Remaster) 2:44
Walton 33 Crown Imperial - Coronation March (1937) (1995 Digital Remaster) 2:43
 
CD 2 [77:37]:
Moeran 1 Symphony in G minor - I. Allegro (opening) (1993 Digital Remaster) 2:25
Butterworth Six Songs from 'A Shropshire Lad'
2 V. The lads in their hundreds 2:90
Leigh Concertino for harpsichord and string orchestra (2001 Digital Remaster)
3 III. Allegro vivace 2:40
Stanford 4 Ave verum corpus Op. 2 No. 1 (1999 Digital Remaster) 2:32
Sullivan Pineapple Poll (1997 Digital Remaster), Scene 3 (1997 Digital Remaster)
5 Belaye's Solo & Sailors' Drill (1997 Digital Remaster) 3:28
Warlock 6 Down by the Salley Gardens (2001 Digital Remaster) 2:31
Arnold Four Cornish Dances Op. 91 (2001 Digital Remaster)
7 4. Allegro ma non troppo 2:29
Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh Op. 6 (1970/1983), I. Aphorisms
8 iii. The Hundred Acre Wood (Nocturne) - Piglet meets a Heffalump 1:20
Smyth 9 The March of the Women (last two verses) 1:40
RVW Job - A Masque for Dancing, Scene VII
10 : Pavane of the Sons of the Morning 2:12
Stanford Three Motets Op. 38
11 2. Coelos ascendit hodie 2:20
Elgar Falstaff Op. 68 - Two Interludes (1993 Digital Remaster)
12 Interlude I: 'Jack Falstaff, now Sir John...' (Poco allegretto) 2:10
Walton Henry V - Scenes from the film (1994 Digital Remaster)
13 'This day is called the Feast of Crispian' (King Henry) - 2:49
Britten Five Poems by W. H. Auden Op. 58 (2003 Digital Remaster)
14 5. Carry her over the water 1:26
Britten 15 Paul Bunyan Op. 17 - Prologue excerpt (It isn't very often the conservatives are wrong - But once in a while the odd thing happens) 1:30
RVW On Wenlock Edge
16 IV. Oh, when I was in love with you 0:44
Farnon 17 Portrait of a Flirt 2:42
18 Kai - conclusion 1:59
Beware! - Three Early Songs
19 2. O that I had ne'er been married (Robert Burns) 1:24
Holst The Perfect Fool H150 (Op. 39) (1988 Digital Remaster)
20 Dance of Spirits of Fire (Allegro moderato) 3:15
Finzi 21 Lo, the full, final Sacrifice Op. 26 - conclusion (from O soft self-wounding Pelican!) 4:36
Elgar Dream Children Op. 43 (1995 Digital Remaster)
22 1. Andante 2:43
RVW Hodie - III. Song
23 It was the winter wild (last verse) (2000 Digital Remaster) 2:17
Britten Diversions for piano (left hand) and orchestra Op. 21
24 Var.XI Tarantella 2:26
Warlock The Curlew (1988 Digital Remaster)
25 Pale brows, still hands 1:41
Walton 26 'Spitfire' Prelude & Fugue - Fugue (conclusion) (1986 Digital Remaster) 2:20
27 It was a lover and his lass Op. 23 No. 3 2:33
Elgar Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1988 Digital Remaster)
28 X. Intermezzo: Dorabella (Dora Penny) 2:25
29 I was glad [orchestral version] (conclusion, from O pray for the peace) (1977 Digital Remaster) 2:90
Delius A Village Romeo and Juliet
30 The Walk to the Paradise Garden (arr. Beecham) 10:14

British Composers - A Celebration 5099909548053 EMI Classics

 


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