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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 oktober 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

Hi-Res Booklet
We find here two of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ little-known and little-played masterpieces. Up first is Songs of Travel, a cycle of nine melodies based on poems by Robert Louis Stevenson composed in 1904. We are then treated to Job, a work composed between 1927 and 1930. Subtitled “A Masque for Dancing”, it is a sort of ballet organized into nine scenes. The English composer honed his skills on Job, often using a rather economical style. The modern influences are sometimes more noticeable than on others and Job almost foreshadows Bartok’s influence (especially pieces such as Introduction and Job’s Dream) on his Finale from Symphony No.6. At the end of the day, Job is a rather strange score. It’s reminiscent of Stravinsky’s compositional study from the same period with his “white” ballet Apollon musaget, a piece for strings only (1928). And yet it retains all of Vaughan Williams’ contemplative tone. The sound is at times quite resigned, despite the orchestral fullness and belching brass - an idea that Bernard Herrmann uses. In the Dance of the Three Messengers, RVW even sketches a theme that sounds like the stringed theme of his majestic Symphony No. 5. The ballet Job seems like a reservoir of Vaughan Williams’ entire post-1930 period. Sir Mark Elder knows this, detailing everything from the orchestra to the thematic structure of the work.The baritone Neal Davies tackles the Songs of Travel in a rare version completed by Roy Douglas, the composer’s assistant, since Vaughan Williams had only orchestrated the first, third, fifth and eighth “songs”. A wonderful discovery! © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 18 september 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 4 september 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 21 augustus 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 juli 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

Hi-Res Booklet
A somewhat unusual interpretation of Debussy – more lyrical than rhythmic. Here, Sir Mark Elder presents a slightly melancholic version of Images pour orchestre, which stands out from his other well-known interpretations on disc, such as of those of Monteux (Philips), Martinon (EMI) and Tilson Thomas (Deutsche Grammaphon), in an extravaganza of rhythms and colours. The British conductor always pays close attention to the balance of textures, as evidenced by his excellent version of Sibelius’ complete symphonies (Hallé Concerts Society). Here, he conducts an orchestra that is small but still mindful of the combinations of timbres (Gigues). The Hallé Orchestra delights in the frequent harmonic friction of the music – one may even wonder whether Debussy was an elder cousin who led the way for the great English symphonists… Rondes de printemps remains one of the composer’s most advanced works, a miniature study of the later ballet Jeux – something which Sir Mark Elder’s tremendous expertise alludes to in this interpretation. It’s a shame that the recording technique for the albums by the Hallé Orchestra Concerts Society is always a little fuzzy and lacks clarity of timbre and depth as it could potentially sound rather dull to the listener rather than providing a true reflection of Elder’s live performances with this orchestra – which he has been doing since 1999! Nevertheless, this is a perfect and sublimely lascivious interpretation of Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, with two arrangements for piano, one of which is from Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut, and one of which is from Book II of Images for piano, an undisputed masterpiece of the French master. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 26 juni 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 juni 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 12 juni 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 juni 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 7 februari 2020 | Halle Concerts Society

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Thus Sir Mark Elder finishes his Sibelius collection, just as the very young Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali begins his own with Alpha, already distinguishing himself with the surprising weight and recurring hesitations of his second volume. None of that with Elder, who admittedly suffers from a slightly too uniform sound recording but who stands out with the exactness of his tempos and his refined balances. Sir Mark Elder offers versions that are classic and fluid, with a real organic tension and a sense of lyricism, especially in the medium registers (Symphony N°4, III. Il tempo largo). Sir Mark Elder knows how to harness the energy that is unique to this orchestra with this repertoire, which has become something of a favourite ever since Barbirolli permanently established it in 1940 before recording irrevocable versions for His Master’s Voice between 1966 and 1969, a discography that has never been surpassed. Sir Mark Elder is less interested in the (certainly fascinating) flare-up of Sibelius’ modernity than his predecessor, favouring a calmer internal pulse that often draws comparisons with Bruckner and Wagner for example. He doesn’t however dilute the features that make Sibelius so remarkable, like the ostinato patterns that we have not heard so hauntingly in a long time (in the Symphony N°4 again). As for the Symphony N°6... you can practically hear it smiling. The sound is joyous, even playful (III. Poco vivace), never falling into the cold tones that we hear all too often. A magnificent vision, closing a milestone anthology which Sibelius fanatics should ensure they don’t miss. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 november 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 september 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 september 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 september 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

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Opera - Verschenen op 7 juni 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Opera - Verschenen op 31 mei 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

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Opera - Verschenen op 24 mei 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

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Opera - Verschenen op 17 mei 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 1 maart 2019 | Halle Concerts Society

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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 2 november 2018 | Halle Concerts Society

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason