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Mark Elder|English Spring (Bax, Delius, Bridge)

English Spring (Bax, Delius, Bridge)

Hallé Orchestra - Mark Elder

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One of the pleasures of the album English Spring is the fact that it skips the overplayed standards like Delius' On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring and offers relatively obscure but very appealing repertoire. All of it, though, should perfectly fit the expectations of someone attracted by the album's title: it features lush harmonies, colorful orchestrations, and is evocative of nature in the best English Pastoral tradition. Although Arnold Bax doesn't include Spring Fire (1913) among his numbered symphonies, the five-movement piece is symphonic in scope and, to some extent, in structure. Its first movement, "In the Forest before Dawn," sounds like a mirror of Schoenberg's depiction of the forest at dusk at the beginning of Gurrelieder; the woodwind figures that open the two works are so spookily similar that it's hard to believe the composers hadn't compared notes. It's a gratifyingly lyrical, glowingly orchestrated, atmospheric work whose unfolding is mostly languidly unhurried until its extroverted final movement. Delius' Idylle de printemps (1889) is an altogether more soaringly rhapsodic work that in some of its quieter moments might be described as bearing the imprint of Debussy's Nocturnes, except that the two pieces were being written at exactly the same time. Delius' "The March of Spring" from North Country Sketches (1914), the most frequently recorded piece on the album but still something of a rarity, sounds more like an idyll than a march and has the composer's characteristic orchestral delicacy and vividness. Frank Bridge's Enter Spring is of a more modern cast, closer to Walton than to any of the other composers represented. It's an exuberant celebration of the exhilaration that comes from the certainty that winter is past, full of rhythmic and melodic vitality. Mark Elder leads the Hallé Orchestra in radiant, impassioned performances that convincingly give voice to the joy and energy of the season. The sound of the recordings, some made live and some in the studio, is clean, warm, and expansive.
© TiVo

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English Spring (Bax, Delius, Bridge)

Mark Elder

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Spring Fire (Sir Arnold Bax)

1
I. In the Forest before Dawn
Halle
00:04:01

Hallé Orchestra - Mark Elder, Conductor - Arnold Bax, Composer - Warner Chappell Music Limited, MusicPublisher

(C) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society (P) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society

2
II. Daybreak and Sunrise
Halle
00:03:54

Hallé Orchestra - Mark Elder, Conductor - Arnold Bax, Composer - Warner Chappell Music Limited, MusicPublisher

(C) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society (P) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society

3
III. Full Day
Halle
00:07:43

Hallé Orchestra - Mark Elder, Conductor - Arnold Bax, Composer - Warner Chappell Music Limited, MusicPublisher

(C) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society (P) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society

4
IV. Woodland Love (Romance)
Halle
00:08:46

Hallé Orchestra - Mark Elder, Conductor - Arnold Bax, Composer - Warner Chappell Music Limited, MusicPublisher

(C) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society (P) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society

5
V. Maenads
Halle
00:08:12

Hallé Orchestra - Mark Elder, Conductor - Arnold Bax, Composer - Warner Chappell Music Limited, MusicPublisher

(C) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society (P) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society

Idylle de Printemps (Frederick Delius)

6
Idylle de Printemps
Halle
00:10:51

Hallé Orchestra - Mark Elder, Conductor - Frederick Delius, Composer - Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Limited, MusicPublisher

(C) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society (P) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society

North Country Sketches (Frederick Delius)

7
North Country Sketches
Halle
00:10:12

Hallé Orchestra - Mark Elder, Conductor - Frederick Delius, Composer - Stainer & Bell Limited

(C) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society (P) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society

Enter Spring (Frank Bridge)

8
Enter Spring
Halle
00:20:48

Hallé Orchestra - Mark Elder, Conductor - Frank Bridge, Composer - Faber Music Limited, MusicPublisher

(C) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society (P) 2011 Hallé Concerts Society

Album Description

One of the pleasures of the album English Spring is the fact that it skips the overplayed standards like Delius' On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring and offers relatively obscure but very appealing repertoire. All of it, though, should perfectly fit the expectations of someone attracted by the album's title: it features lush harmonies, colorful orchestrations, and is evocative of nature in the best English Pastoral tradition. Although Arnold Bax doesn't include Spring Fire (1913) among his numbered symphonies, the five-movement piece is symphonic in scope and, to some extent, in structure. Its first movement, "In the Forest before Dawn," sounds like a mirror of Schoenberg's depiction of the forest at dusk at the beginning of Gurrelieder; the woodwind figures that open the two works are so spookily similar that it's hard to believe the composers hadn't compared notes. It's a gratifyingly lyrical, glowingly orchestrated, atmospheric work whose unfolding is mostly languidly unhurried until its extroverted final movement. Delius' Idylle de printemps (1889) is an altogether more soaringly rhapsodic work that in some of its quieter moments might be described as bearing the imprint of Debussy's Nocturnes, except that the two pieces were being written at exactly the same time. Delius' "The March of Spring" from North Country Sketches (1914), the most frequently recorded piece on the album but still something of a rarity, sounds more like an idyll than a march and has the composer's characteristic orchestral delicacy and vividness. Frank Bridge's Enter Spring is of a more modern cast, closer to Walton than to any of the other composers represented. It's an exuberant celebration of the exhilaration that comes from the certainty that winter is past, full of rhythmic and melodic vitality. Mark Elder leads the Hallé Orchestra in radiant, impassioned performances that convincingly give voice to the joy and energy of the season. The sound of the recordings, some made live and some in the studio, is clean, warm, and expansive.
© TiVo

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