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Andrew Davis - The Starlight Express

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The Starlight Express

Edward Elgar

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Language available : english

What you're getting here takes a little explanation. The Starlight Express started life as a novel for young people by Algernon Blackwood, A Prisoner in Fairyland, a story of a group of children who collect stardust and carry on a secret existence apart from the adult world. It is not unlike Peter Pan in its general outlines, but from the evidence here it is not nearly as elegantly done. Blackwood's novel was made into a play by one Violet Pearn, and Elgar, in 1915, was asked to write incidental music and songs for this play, turning it into a kind of melodrama. Next, the play was reduced here to a narrative, read by actor Simon Callow and structured in such a way as to keep apparently all of Elgar's music, including some little songs. Finally, three songs and a long sequence of instrumental excerpts were collected into a pair of suites by the present conductor, Andrew Davis, leading the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and an assortment of British singers. These final suites are probably the most attractive items here for the average listener. Elgar's music is actually charming, with an airy, tonally simple, yet absolutely characteristic quality as far as could be from the weighty world of his symphonies and oratorios. You could even imagine other performances of these suites as an ideal opener for concerts of English music. The narrated play itself doesn't quite come off, and the original material seems uncertain at times as to whether it wants to be for children or adults. Nevertheless, recordings of this material in any form are rare, and to hear this music from one of Elgar's foremost champions will likely appeal to the composer's fans.
© TiVo

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The Starlight Express

Andrew Davis

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The Starlight Express, Op. 78 (Edward Elgar)

1
Act I Scene 1: To the Children
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:05:56

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

2
Act I Scene 1: In the village of Bourcelles in the Swiss …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:37

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

3
Act I Scene 1: Just then a lamplighter …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:30

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

4
Act I Scene 1: At that time, Henry had told him about the old railway …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:42

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

5
Act I Scene 1: … the mother of them all
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:32

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

6
Act I Scene 1: Oh! But I'm forgetting the most important one of all.
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:33

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

7
Act I Scene 1: They were always eager to hear his poetry
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:22

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

8
Act I Scene 1: And suddenly a new, enormous thing stirred in their father's heart
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:48

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

9
Act I Scene 1: As though on cue
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:15

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

10
Act I Scene 1: To the Children: That's odd, said Mother
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:37

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

11
Act I Scene 1: … gold and had put it on for warmth against the cool evening air
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:42

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

12
Act I Scene 1: Before them stood an extremely dishevelled figure holding a suitcase
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:14

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

13
Act I Scene 1: As Daddy took charge of the luggage
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:53

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

14
Act I Scene 1: We want to tell you something
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:38

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

15
Act I Scene 1: All the rules I swear to keep
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:32

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

16
Act I Scene 1: Are you sure you have everything you need?
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:33

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

17
Act II Scene 1: The Blue-eyed Fairy
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:03:22

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

18
Act II Scene 1: They found a clearing with the open sky above them
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:06

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

19
Act II Scene 1: Henry explained that the Pleiades had been attendants upon Artemis …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:18

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

20
Act II Scene 1: The Sun has Gone
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:04:38

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

21
Act II Scene 1: The Sun has Gone: Now, cats are curious creatures, and Riquette was no exception
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:02:01

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

22
Act II Scene 1: Turning towards the open window …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:15

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

23
Act II Scene 1: At length Jinny came out of the cave and came over to them
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:21

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

24
Act II Scene 1: Then there's Madame Jequier and dear Miss Waghorn
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:01

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

25
Act II Scene 1: Could it be?
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:33

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

26
Act II Scene 1: And with that the first passenger hurried by them
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:19

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

27
Act II Scene 1: The Sweep
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:12

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

28
Act II Scene 1: Then a fantastic, light, twirling creature …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:15

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

29
Act II Scene 1: I'm ev'rywhere
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:48

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

30
Act II Scene 1: And the shabby Tramp, playing his barrel organ
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:13

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

31
Act II Scene 1: Well, let's see now
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:27

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

32
Act II Scene 1: Wake up, you little Night Winds
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:29

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

33
Act II Scene 1: Dance of the Winds
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:02:20

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

34
Act II Scene 1: But where's Cousin Henry?
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:43

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

35
Act II Scene 1: I'm ev'rywhere: Ah! Anyone gazing skywards at that moment …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:06

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

36
Act II Scene 1: Sun Dance
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:02:45

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

37
Act II Scene 2: Madame Jequier's constant anxiety …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:06

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

38
Act II Scene 2: Dandelions, Daffodils
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:52

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

39
Act II Scene 2: In her attic chamber above
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:14

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

40
Act II Scene 2: Henry turned to the children
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:04

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

41
Act II Scene 3: At the Citadelle
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:18

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

42
Act II Scene 3: O, stars shine brightly
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:03:16

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

43
Act II Scene 3: The Sprites had almost finished their task
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:48

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

44
Act II Scene 3: The Sprites flitted out, back to the Starlight Express
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:18

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

45
Act II Scene 3: Dawn Song
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:11

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

DISC 2

1
Act III Scene 1: My Old Tunes
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:04:14

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

2
Act III Scene 1: Dandelions, Daffodils
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:15

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

3
Act III Scene 1: Miss Waghorn, whose confusion of mind …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:11

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

4
Act III Scene 1: My main idea is this …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:01:09

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

5
Act III Scene 1: Then Mother spoke …
Elin Manahan Thomas
00:00:34

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano - David Watkin, cello - Roderick Williams, baritone - Simon Callow, narrator - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor

2012 Chandos 2012 Chandos

Album Description

What you're getting here takes a little explanation. The Starlight Express started life as a novel for young people by Algernon Blackwood, A Prisoner in Fairyland, a story of a group of children who collect stardust and carry on a secret existence apart from the adult world. It is not unlike Peter Pan in its general outlines, but from the evidence here it is not nearly as elegantly done. Blackwood's novel was made into a play by one Violet Pearn, and Elgar, in 1915, was asked to write incidental music and songs for this play, turning it into a kind of melodrama. Next, the play was reduced here to a narrative, read by actor Simon Callow and structured in such a way as to keep apparently all of Elgar's music, including some little songs. Finally, three songs and a long sequence of instrumental excerpts were collected into a pair of suites by the present conductor, Andrew Davis, leading the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and an assortment of British singers. These final suites are probably the most attractive items here for the average listener. Elgar's music is actually charming, with an airy, tonally simple, yet absolutely characteristic quality as far as could be from the weighty world of his symphonies and oratorios. You could even imagine other performances of these suites as an ideal opener for concerts of English music. The narrated play itself doesn't quite come off, and the original material seems uncertain at times as to whether it wants to be for children or adults. Nevertheless, recordings of this material in any form are rare, and to hear this music from one of Elgar's foremost champions will likely appeal to the composer's fans.
© TiVo

Details of original recording : 80:05 - DDD - Enregistré en mai et août 2012 à Édimbourg et Londres - Notes en français, anglais et allemand avec le texte de la pièce en anglais

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