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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 1, 2006 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Diapason découverte - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released March 1, 2001 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Year - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released March 1, 2007 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 9 de Classica-Répertoire - Hi-Res Audio
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 27, 2008 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 1, 2007 | Chandos

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
George Dyson's Nebuchadnezzar is no Belshazzar's Feast, nor does it really try to be. Though also an English oratorio based on and named after the same Babylonian king as Walton's work (Nebuchadnezzar, it turns out, is another name for Belshazzar), Dyson's work is less confrontational and aggressive than Walton's. Or, to put it another way, Dyson's Nebuchadnezzar, composed in 1934 and premiered in 1935, is much more of an old-fashioned English Romantic oratorio along the lines of Elgar's The Apostles than it is a new-fangled English modernist oratorio along the lines of Bliss' Morning Heroes. Big, strong-willed, and deeply devotional, Dyson's oratorio is tonal with traces of chromaticism, dramatic with moments of lyrical reflection, brilliantly colorful but by no means garish, and very formal but not slavishly so. In this excellent 2007 world-premiere recording performed with passionate professionalism by Richard Hickox leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus with tenor Mark Padmore and bass-baritone Neal Davies, Nebuchadnezzar is given the opportunity to return to the repertoire; only time will tell if it actually happens. Also included here are world-premiere recordings of two more Dyson works -- the charmingly pastoral Woodland Suite for strings and solo winds and the massively monumental Three Songs of Praise for chorus plus strings, two trumpets, three trombones, and two timpani -- as well as two works for chorus and orchestra already known to devoted Dyson aficionados from previous recordings -- O Praise God in His Holiness (Psalm 150) and Confortare (Be strong and of a good courage). © TiVo
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Cantatas (secular) - Released November 1, 1993 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released October 28, 2008 | Chandos

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There's no shortage of good recordings of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on the market, and unless one has been neglectful in collecting SACDs of the big choral showpieces, there's probably little reason to indulge in this 2008 package from Chandos, except perhaps to honor the career of Richard Hickox. This recording was one of his last releases before his death in late 2008, and it is a fitting tribute to his excellence as a conductor that this live performance, with soprano Laura Claycomb, tenor Barry Banks, baritone Christopher Maltman, the Tiffin Boys' Choir, and the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, is given a brilliant presentation, thanks to the exceptional DSD multichannel technology used by the label. It's a solid performance, full of variety, drama, sonic depth, and ritualistic energy, and Hickox guides the vocal soloists and ensembles in a bold reading that never stints on color, excitement, and the expected bombast. The most noteworthy difference in interpretation is the way Hickox gives the vocalists considerable freedom in their lyrical numbers, and this gentle, almost dreamy feeling of rubato lends Carmina Burana some subtle expressive touches that are most welcome. All the same, if one already has a top-notch recording of this work, then this one will seem a bit redundant and not especially compelling. For all his virtues, Hickox is evenly matched by many fine conductors on other recordings, and for all its fine points, this performance does not trump its competition. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released January 27, 2009 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Full Operas - Released November 1, 2003 | Chandos

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released November 1, 2003 | Chandos

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Symphonic Music - Released November 1, 2000 | Chandos

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Full Operas - Released January 1, 2003 | Chandos

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Full Operas - Released June 1, 2005 | Chandos

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released May 1, 2001 | Chandos

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released November 1, 2002 | Chandos

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released May 1, 2002 | Chandos

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Symphonic Music - Released March 1, 2001 | Chandos

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released November 1, 2005 | Chandos

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Hummel's choral music, like that of his rival Beethoven, lies pretty far down the list of his compositions in terms of overall renown. But some of it originated in a very famous spot: Hummel succeeded Haydn as a composer of large-scale choral works for the use of the noble Esterházy family at its vast palace. The Mass in D minor heard on this album was composed in 1805, when the "Lord Nelson" mass in the same key by Haydn would still have been very much in the air and ears at Esterháza. Faced with the unenviable task of trying to top it, Hummel turned not to Haydn as a model but, as liner-note writer David Wyn Jones points out, to Mozart: the Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor provides Hummel's mass with its tense general mood, its flexible shifts between the soloists and the larger group, and its flashes of lyrical light. As with most of Hummel's works, stretches of conventional music are broken up by arresting ideas. Although the mass is a work heavily bound to tradition, it has fresh passages that hold the listener's attention all the way through. The Credo, normally a composer's toughest challenge with its lengthy recitations of belief, is treated quite inventively by Hummel: the central Incarnatus and Crucifixus texts are repeated, as if to suggest the multiple viewpoints of an awestruck crowd, and the concluding "Et vitam venturi saeculi" evokes eternal life with a dancelike repetition figure unlike anything in the music of Hummel's more famous contemporaries. This is something of a period-instrument performance despite the 1805 date; instruments dating from around 1800 are used. The singers of the Collegium Musicum 90 under Richard Hickox deliver a splendid performance, never losing momentum in Hummel's massive 10-minute Kyrie, and the four soloists react alertly to the composer's fairly intricate integration of solo and chorus. This isn't the Beethoven Missa Solemnis, but anyone curious about the wider Viennese and Austrian scenes may find it of interest. The small Salve Regina that closes the disc offers attractive vocal writing. © TiVo
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Full Operas - Released January 24, 2000 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
Owen Wingrave, Britten's penultimate opera, is arguably his weakest. It was written for a 1970 BBC television production and has been performed on the stage, but it remains one of his least frequently performed mature operas. Part of the fault lies with the libretto by Myfanwy Piper, who provided the excellent librettos for The Turn of the Screw and Death in Venice. Based on a ghost story by Henry James, the plot concerns a young man from a military family who embraces pacifism and is rejected by everyone he cares about. To prove that he is not simply a coward, he agrees to spend the night in a haunted room, in which he mysteriously dies. The opera has little dramatic movement; it consists almost entirely of Owen's family's and friends' outrageous insults and recriminations, and his firm adherence to his convictions. The choice of topic was clearly a reflection of Britten's pacifism, and the result seems more like a manifesto than a fully fleshed out human drama. In spite of Britten's passionate commitment to pacifism, the story didn't call forth his most inspired music. The music is endlessly inventive, and while there are beautiful moments, there is little that's truly memorable, and it doesn't add up to a very engaging or moving musical drama. One problem is Britten's text setting, which lacks the purposefulness of his best work and is surprisingly sing-song. Another is the fact that the music doesn't consistently illuminate the deep psychology of the drama, as it does in almost all of his other operas. The gamelan-like orchestration is its most powerful element, and the orchestral interludes are the most interesting parts. This performance may not supplant Britten's own version on Decca, but the individual singers are consistently strong, and James Gilchrist is far more persuasive as a young recruit than the aging Peter Pears was. The City of London Sinfonia plays crisply and colorfully under Richard Hickox. Chandos' sound is clean, with good balance and presence © TiVo

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Richard Hickox in the magazine