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Andrew Davis - Elgar : The Music Makers, The Spirit of England

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Elgar : The Music Makers, The Spirit of England

BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus - Andrew Davis

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Of the big choral works by Edward Elgar, The Music Makers (1912) is the most personal one. It is a setting of the poem "Ode," by English (not Irish) poet Arthur O'Shaughnessy, beginning "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams," and coining the phrase "movers and shakers" along the way. The poem has had unusually deep resonances, having been quoted and even set by popular musicians. Elgar came up with an appropriately starry-sounding setting, underscoring his affection for the work (which he labored at for nine years) by quoting several pieces of his own earlier music in the score. Sir Andrew Davis at the baton and especially the BBC Symphony Chorus have the right creamy sound for this, and a major attraction is the presence of Dame Sarah Connolly in the mezzo-soprano part. Listen to her and the chorus dig into "Therefore today is thrilling." The album is rounded out by The Spirit of England, a wartime composition that is anything but personal. The chief virtue of the present performance is that it is apparently the only one in which the solo part is sung entirely by a tenor, although Elgar specifically named this as a possible interpretation. Perhaps both of these works are for Elgar lovers, but anyone should be able to enjoy The Music Makers and discover the poem's enduring appeal.
© TiVo

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Elgar : The Music Makers, The Spirit of England

Andrew Davis

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The Music Makers, Op. 69 (Edward Elgar)

1
Introduction
BBC Symphony Orchestra
00:03:21

BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

2
We are the music makers
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:01:59

BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

3
With wonderful deathless ditties
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:01:47

BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

4
We, in the ages lying
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:03:29

BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

5
A breath of our inspiration
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:04:04

BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

6
They had no vision amazing
Sarah Connolly
00:03:20

Sarah Connolly, Soprano - BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

7
And therefore today is thrilling
Sarah Connolly
00:04:42

Sarah Connolly, Soprano - BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

8
But we, with our dreaming and singing - For we are afar with the dawning
BBC Symphony Chorus
00:05:44

BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

9
Great hail ! We cry to the comers
Sarah Connolly
00:08:20

Sarah Connolly, Soprano - BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

The spirit of England, op. 80 (Edward Elgar)

10
No. 1. The Fourth of August
Andrew Staples
00:06:53

Andrew Staples, Tenor - BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

11
No. 2. To Women
Andrew Staples
00:05:51

Andrew Staples, Tenor - BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

12
No. 3. For the Fallen
Andrew Staples
00:12:21

Andrew Staples, Tenor - BBC Symphony Chorus - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Davis, Conductor - Edward Elgar, Composer

(C) 2018 Chandos (P) 2018 Chandos

Album Description

Of the big choral works by Edward Elgar, The Music Makers (1912) is the most personal one. It is a setting of the poem "Ode," by English (not Irish) poet Arthur O'Shaughnessy, beginning "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams," and coining the phrase "movers and shakers" along the way. The poem has had unusually deep resonances, having been quoted and even set by popular musicians. Elgar came up with an appropriately starry-sounding setting, underscoring his affection for the work (which he labored at for nine years) by quoting several pieces of his own earlier music in the score. Sir Andrew Davis at the baton and especially the BBC Symphony Chorus have the right creamy sound for this, and a major attraction is the presence of Dame Sarah Connolly in the mezzo-soprano part. Listen to her and the chorus dig into "Therefore today is thrilling." The album is rounded out by The Spirit of England, a wartime composition that is anything but personal. The chief virtue of the present performance is that it is apparently the only one in which the solo part is sung entirely by a tenor, although Elgar specifically named this as a possible interpretation. Perhaps both of these works are for Elgar lovers, but anyone should be able to enjoy The Music Makers and discover the poem's enduring appeal.
© TiVo

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