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Samuel West - Bliss: Morning Heroes & Hymn to Apollo

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Bliss: Morning Heroes & Hymn to Apollo

Samuel West, Andrew Davis, BBC Symphony Orchestra

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Language available : english

British choral music may sometimes have a ceremonial tinge that requires a leap of faith from the contemporary listener, but Sir Arthur Bliss' Morning Heroes is a good deal more personal: Bliss was wounded and hit with poison gas during World War I, and his brother Kennard was killed. Morning Heroes, composed in 1930, has the sense of a personal reflection, and it's quite somber. The work is set to war poetry by Homer, Li Tai Po, Walt Whitman, Wilfred Owen, and Robert Nichols, giving the poem to a narrator and developing the textual ideas in both chorus and orchestra. Musical settings of Homer, from whom all other Western poetry flows, are rare, and the two excerpts from the Iliad, depicting Hector's farewell to Andromache and Achilles going into battle, capture the unsentimental quality of the text and have a good portion of real tragedy. The narrator is the British actor Samuel West, who delivers clear, understated readings, but Davis is the real star, bringing detail and a unified tone to what was surely an unfamiliar score for the musicians. The Chandos engineering team, working at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, captures the depths of the complex score. Highly recommended.
© TiVo

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Bliss: Morning Heroes & Hymn to Apollo

Samuel West

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Morning Heroes (Arthur Bliss)

1
I. Hector's Farewell to Andromache
Samuel West
00:12:57

Andrew Davis, Conductor - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Arthur Bliss, Composer - Samuel West, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Chandos (P) 2015 Chandos

2
II. The City Arming
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:11:15

Andrew Davis, Conductor - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - BBC Symphony Chorus, Choir, MainArtist - Arthur Bliss, Composer

(C) 2015 Chandos (P) 2015 Chandos

3
IIIa. Vigil
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:07:52

Andrew Davis, Conductor - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - BBC Symphony Chorus, Choir, MainArtist - Arthur Bliss, Composer

(C) 2015 Chandos (P) 2015 Chandos

4
IIIb. The Bivouac's Flame
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:04:29

Andrew Davis, Conductor - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - BBC Symphony Chorus, Choir, MainArtist - Arthur Bliss, Composer

(C) 2015 Chandos (P) 2015 Chandos

5
IVa. Achilles Goes Forth to Battle
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:06:44

Andrew Davis, Conductor - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - BBC Symphony Chorus, Choir, MainArtist - Arthur Bliss, Composer

(C) 2015 Chandos (P) 2015 Chandos

6
IVb. The Heroes
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:01:41

Andrew Davis, Conductor - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - BBC Symphony Chorus, Choir, MainArtist - Arthur Bliss, Composer

(C) 2015 Chandos (P) 2015 Chandos

7
Va. Now, Trumpeter, For Thy Close - Vb. Spring Offensive
Samuel West
00:05:31

Andrew Davis, Conductor - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Arthur Bliss, Composer - Samuel West, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Chandos (P) 2015 Chandos

8
Vc. Dawn on the Somme
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:05:10

Andrew Davis, Conductor - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - BBC Symphony Chorus, Choir, MainArtist - Arthur Bliss, Composer

(C) 2015 Chandos (P) 2015 Chandos

Hymn to Apollo, Op. 116 (Arthur Bliss)

9
Hymn to Apollo
BBC Symphony Orchestra
00:09:25

Andrew Davis, Conductor - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Arthur Bliss, Composer

(C) 2015 Chandos (P) 2015 Chandos

Album Description

British choral music may sometimes have a ceremonial tinge that requires a leap of faith from the contemporary listener, but Sir Arthur Bliss' Morning Heroes is a good deal more personal: Bliss was wounded and hit with poison gas during World War I, and his brother Kennard was killed. Morning Heroes, composed in 1930, has the sense of a personal reflection, and it's quite somber. The work is set to war poetry by Homer, Li Tai Po, Walt Whitman, Wilfred Owen, and Robert Nichols, giving the poem to a narrator and developing the textual ideas in both chorus and orchestra. Musical settings of Homer, from whom all other Western poetry flows, are rare, and the two excerpts from the Iliad, depicting Hector's farewell to Andromache and Achilles going into battle, capture the unsentimental quality of the text and have a good portion of real tragedy. The narrator is the British actor Samuel West, who delivers clear, understated readings, but Davis is the real star, bringing detail and a unified tone to what was surely an unfamiliar score for the musicians. The Chandos engineering team, working at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, captures the depths of the complex score. Highly recommended.
© TiVo

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