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Edward Elgar - For the Fallen (Works by Elgar and Bax)

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For the Fallen (Works by Elgar and Bax)

Hallé Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder

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This album in Hallé’s series of recordings of works by Elgar couples his last great choral work, the largely overlooked The Spirit of England, with a fascinating collection of works which similarly remember the departed. Thematically linked to The Dream of Gerontius, the work sets texts from WWI poets and was premiered in sections during 1916 and 1917. In tone it is close to the melancholy of the Cello Concerto; and Britten referred to its music as displaying “personal tenderness and grief” as well as “genuine splendour”. Next, Elgar’s melodrama A Voice in the Wilderness movingly depicts the contrasting moods of the desolate and subdued Western Front by night and the soaring, aspiring lines by Belgian poet Emile Cammaerts, in the original English translation offered by the poet’s own English wife. Narration alternates with lines sung by the soprano voice, hence the term « melodrama ». The remaining two works on the album present works inspired by Irish literature. Grania and Diarmid was a play based on tales of Irish mythology. Elgar’s music for the play, a story of tragic entangled love, was described by playright W.B. Yeats as “wonderful in its heroic melancholy”. Bax’s rarely performed orchestral work In Memoriam is subtitled ‘An Irish Elegy’. It reflects the composer’s passionate interest in, and love for, Ireland, her literature and her tragic early twentieth century history – including the Easter Rising of April 1916 and the subsequent execution of some of its leaders which deeply shocked Bax who, though English-born, spent most of his adult life in Ireland. The resultant music contrasts angry outbursts with more mellow episodes featuring melody of profound sadness and lyricism.

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For the Fallen (Works by Elgar and Bax)

Edward Elgar

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1
The Spirit of England, for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 80: I. The Fourth of August
Rachel Nicholls
00:07:18

Halle Choir, Ensemble - Edward Elgar, Composer - Hallé, Orchestra - Rachel Nicholls, MainArtist - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor

(C) 2016 Halle Concerts Society (P) 2016 Hallé Concerts Society

2
The Spirit of England, for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 80: II. To Women
Rachel Nicholls
00:06:20

Halle Choir, Ensemble - Edward Elgar, Composer - Hallé, Orchestra - Rachel Nicholls, MainArtist - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor

(C) 2016 Halle Concerts Society (P) 2016 Hallé Concerts Society

3
The Spirit of England, for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 80: III. For the Fallen
Rachel Nicholls
00:13:11

Halle Choir, Ensemble - Edward Elgar, Composer - Hallé, Orchestra - Rachel Nicholls, MainArtist - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor

(C) 2016 Halle Concerts Society (P) 2016 Hallé Concerts Society

4
A Voice in the Wilderness (Une voix dans le désert), Op. 77
Hallé Choir
00:11:19

Halle Choir, Ensemble - Edward Elgar, Composer - Hallé, Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor - Joshua Ellicott, MainArtist - Jennifer France, MainArtist

(C) 2016 Halle Concerts Society (P) 2016 Hallé Concerts Society

5
Grania and Diarmid, Op. 42: I. Introduction
Hallé Choir
00:03:09

Halle Choir, Ensemble - Edward Elgar, Composer - Hallé, Orchestra, MainArtist - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor

(C) 2016 Halle Concerts Society (P) 2016 Hallé Concerts Society

6
Grania and Diarmid, Op. 42: II. Funeral March
Hallé Choir
00:05:59

Halle Choir, Ensemble - Halle Orchestra, Orchestra - Edward Elgar, Composer - Hallé, MainArtist - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor

(C) 2016 Halle Concerts Society (P) 2016 Hallé Concerts Society

7
Grania and Diarmid, Op. 42: III. Song 'There are seven that pull the thread'
Hallé Choir
00:02:53

Halle Choir, Ensemble - Edward Elgar, Composer - Hallé, Orchestra - Madeleine Shaw, MainArtist - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor

(C) 2016 Halle Concerts Society (P) 2016 Hallé Concerts Society

8
In Memoriam, GP. 190
Hallé Choir
00:17:03

Halle Choir, Ensemble - Arnold Bax, Composer - Hallé, Orchestra, MainArtist - Sir Mark Elder, Conductor - Richard Frazier Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2016 Halle Concerts Society (P) 2016 Hallé Concerts Society

Album Description

This album in Hallé’s series of recordings of works by Elgar couples his last great choral work, the largely overlooked The Spirit of England, with a fascinating collection of works which similarly remember the departed. Thematically linked to The Dream of Gerontius, the work sets texts from WWI poets and was premiered in sections during 1916 and 1917. In tone it is close to the melancholy of the Cello Concerto; and Britten referred to its music as displaying “personal tenderness and grief” as well as “genuine splendour”. Next, Elgar’s melodrama A Voice in the Wilderness movingly depicts the contrasting moods of the desolate and subdued Western Front by night and the soaring, aspiring lines by Belgian poet Emile Cammaerts, in the original English translation offered by the poet’s own English wife. Narration alternates with lines sung by the soprano voice, hence the term « melodrama ». The remaining two works on the album present works inspired by Irish literature. Grania and Diarmid was a play based on tales of Irish mythology. Elgar’s music for the play, a story of tragic entangled love, was described by playright W.B. Yeats as “wonderful in its heroic melancholy”. Bax’s rarely performed orchestral work In Memoriam is subtitled ‘An Irish Elegy’. It reflects the composer’s passionate interest in, and love for, Ireland, her literature and her tragic early twentieth century history – including the Easter Rising of April 1916 and the subsequent execution of some of its leaders which deeply shocked Bax who, though English-born, spent most of his adult life in Ireland. The resultant music contrasts angry outbursts with more mellow episodes featuring melody of profound sadness and lyricism.

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