Elgar - The Music Makers, The Spirit of England | Chandos CHSA5215

Elgar - The Music Makers, The Spirit of England

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Label: Chandos

Cat No: CHSA5215

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 2nd November 2018

Contents

Artists

Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano)
Andrew Staples (tenor)
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Symphony Orchestra

Conductor

Andrew Davis

Works

Elgar, Edward

The Music Makers, op.69
The Spirit of England, op.80

Artists

Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano)
Andrew Staples (tenor)
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Symphony Orchestra

Conductor

Andrew Davis

About

Distinguished British music interpreter Sir Andrew Davis joins forces with the BBCSO once again, this time with acclaimed soloists Dame Sarah Connolly and Andrew Staples, in this thoughtful presentation of the last two substantial choral works of Sir Edward Elgar.

The maturity of Elgar as an orchestrator is obvious in both works on this disc, notably, in The Music Makers (1912), during passages in which he quotes from Sea Pictures and the Violin Concerto, and in representing the sound of aircraft in The Spirit of England (1917).

Elgar uses self-quotation to reflect: The Music Makers is a canvas of self-reflection, written quickly following a period of illness. The orchestral introduction is introspective, melancholic and noble, before the words of Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s poem and much self-quotation within the music offer an insight into the sense of nostalgia and awareness of the loneliness of the creative artist felt by the composer. The Spirit of England reflects on the sadness and desolation of war felt by a nation, with the inclusion of quotations from The Dream of Gerontius in some of the more negative stanzas that Elgar found harder to set. Specified in the score for tenor or soprano, all three movements are sung here by a tenor in a recording first.
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