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Sir Andrew Davis - Elgar : Falstaff - Orchestral Songs - Grania & Diarmid

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Elgar : Falstaff - Orchestral Songs - Grania & Diarmid

Roderick Williams, BBC Philharmonic, Sir Andrew Davis

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Aside from Elgar’s fascinating and obligatory Falstaff composed in 1913 (a Symphonic Study according to the partition, but in reality a symphonic poem in the grand tradition of Strauss— about whom Elgar probably thought when he wrote his masterpiece, and the rather present solo cello cannot help but remind us of Strauss’ Don Quixote, composed sixteen years earlier), the album distinguishes itself by a few melodies with orchestra from the same Elgar, a repertoire unfortunately too often neglected and yet of breathtaking beauty (we hear, in a pinch, the Sea Pictures performed from time to time, but that’s all folks). And when you know that it’s the now very famous baritone Roderick Williams on the mic, we can only applaud the initiative of Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic to feature these splendors once again. Elgar proves to us here that, far from just being a great master of large symphonic-vocal soundscapes in the form of oratorio (we obviously think about The Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles and The Music Makers), he handles the miniature with genius. Roderick Williams, one of the most beautiful voices of today’s British scene, grasps these rarities with a joy that is as rare as these pieces. The album closes on a hilarious wink, the Smoking Cantata, a cantata with a ginormous orchestration but that lasts… only 49 seconds, and whose text is limited to: “Kindly, Kindly, kindly do not SMOKE in the hall or staircase”. It’s the best British humor!


Qobuz technical commentary on sound quality


The sound quality for this wonderful orchestration is refined; the level ratios are well-judged; and the distances between the consoles are just right, in this airy piece of mixing that renders the lines exceptionally clear. Clear and enveloping reverberation never hides the discourse: the result is a rare evenness between the different families within the orchestra. The tutti certainly aren’t lacking any liveliness, thanks to the remarkably assured dynamic, and when the percussion gets going we discover a beautifully-proportioned hall, which gives the sound room to develop without constraints. Without falling into the very (too?) popular trap of ultra-proximity, and because the acoustics allow it, Chandos has produced a mix which really respects the score, the performance, and the sound scene... what a relief! © SM/Qobuz

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Elgar : Falstaff - Orchestral Songs - Grania & Diarmid

Sir Andrew Davis

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Falstaff, op. 68 (Edward Elgar)

1
Falstaff and Prince Henry: Allegro -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:03:09

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

2
Eastcheap: Allegro molto -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:02:54

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

3
Robbery at Gadshill - The Boar's Head Again - Revelry and Sleep: Allegro molto -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:09:21

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

4
Revelry and Sleep: Molto tranquillo -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:01:14

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

5
Dream Interlude -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:02:36

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

6
Falstaff's March: Allegro -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:02:58

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

7
The return through Gloucestershire -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:01:27

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

8
Interlude: Gloucestershire, Shallow's Orchard: Allegretto -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:01:34

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

9
The new king - The hurried ride to London -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:01:06

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

10
King Henry V's Progress: Più moderato -
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:03:29

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

11
The repudiation of Falstaff, and his death
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:06:12

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

Song Cycle, Op. 59 (Edward Elgar)

12
No. 3. O soft was the song
Roderick Williams
00:01:54

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

13
No. 5. Was it some golden star?
Roderick Williams
00:02:13

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

14
No. 6. Twilight
Roderick Williams
00:02:28

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

2 Songs, Op. 60 (Version for Voice & Orchestra) (Edward Elgar)

15
The Torch, Op. 60, No. 1 (version for voice and orchestra)
Roderick Williams
00:02:39

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

16
The River, Op. 60, No. 2 (version for voice and orchestra)
Roderick Williams
00:04:05

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

Grania & Diarmid, op. 42 (Edward Elgar)

17
Incidental Music
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:03:22

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

18
Funeral March
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:06:57

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

The Wind at Dawn (version for voice and orchestra) (Edward Elgar)

19
The Wind at Dawn (version for voice and orchestra)
Roderick Williams
00:03:17

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

Pipes of Pan (version for voice and orchestra) (Edward Elgar)

20
Pipes of Pan (version for voice and orchestra)
Roderick Williams
00:03:52

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

Pleading, Op. 48 (version for voice and orchestra) (Edward Elgar)

21
Pleading, Op. 48 (version for voice and orchestra)
Roderick Williams
00:02:27

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

The King's Way (version for voice and orchestra) (Edward Elgar)

22
The King's Way (version for voice and orchestra)
Roderick Williams
00:04:09

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

Smoking Cantata (Edward Elgar)

23
Smoking Cantata
Roderick Williams
00:00:49

Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra - Roderick Williams, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2017 Chandos (P) 2017 Chandos

Album Description

Aside from Elgar’s fascinating and obligatory Falstaff composed in 1913 (a Symphonic Study according to the partition, but in reality a symphonic poem in the grand tradition of Strauss— about whom Elgar probably thought when he wrote his masterpiece, and the rather present solo cello cannot help but remind us of Strauss’ Don Quixote, composed sixteen years earlier), the album distinguishes itself by a few melodies with orchestra from the same Elgar, a repertoire unfortunately too often neglected and yet of breathtaking beauty (we hear, in a pinch, the Sea Pictures performed from time to time, but that’s all folks). And when you know that it’s the now very famous baritone Roderick Williams on the mic, we can only applaud the initiative of Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic to feature these splendors once again. Elgar proves to us here that, far from just being a great master of large symphonic-vocal soundscapes in the form of oratorio (we obviously think about The Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles and The Music Makers), he handles the miniature with genius. Roderick Williams, one of the most beautiful voices of today’s British scene, grasps these rarities with a joy that is as rare as these pieces. The album closes on a hilarious wink, the Smoking Cantata, a cantata with a ginormous orchestration but that lasts… only 49 seconds, and whose text is limited to: “Kindly, Kindly, kindly do not SMOKE in the hall or staircase”. It’s the best British humor!


Qobuz technical commentary on sound quality


The sound quality for this wonderful orchestration is refined; the level ratios are well-judged; and the distances between the consoles are just right, in this airy piece of mixing that renders the lines exceptionally clear. Clear and enveloping reverberation never hides the discourse: the result is a rare evenness between the different families within the orchestra. The tutti certainly aren’t lacking any liveliness, thanks to the remarkably assured dynamic, and when the percussion gets going we discover a beautifully-proportioned hall, which gives the sound room to develop without constraints. Without falling into the very (too?) popular trap of ultra-proximity, and because the acoustics allow it, Chandos has produced a mix which really respects the score, the performance, and the sound scene... what a relief! © SM/Qobuz

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