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Ben Johnson, Emily Birsan, Sir Andrew Davis - Bliss: The Beatitudes, Introduction and Allegro & God Save the Queen (2018)

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Ben Johnson, Emily Birsan, Sir Andrew Davis - Bliss: The Beatitudes, Introduction and Allegro & God Save the Queen (2018)

Ben Johnson, Emily Birsan, Sir Andrew Davis - Bliss: The Beatitudes, Introduction and Allegro & God Save the Queen (2018)
Classical, Choral | WEB FLAC (tracks) & d. booklet | 254 MB
Label: Chandos | Tracks: 17 | Time: 66:20 min

Excelling in recordings of Delius, Elgar, and Holst, Sir Andrew Davis here presents a spirited programme of works by Sir Arthur Bliss. It follows a recording of Morning Heroes that made the top recommendations of 2015; likewise recorded in surround-sound, it conveys the energy of both the exceptional soloists and the impeccable BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Premiered along with Britten’s War Requiem at the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962, but hardly ever heard since, The Beatitudes is remarkable for its dramatic intensity, ‘full of contrast and striking orchestral effects’, as The Times noted after a recent Barbican performance given by the same forces. The reviewer added that ‘soprano Emily Birsan was silvery clear, well supported by the tenor Ben Johnson. And the biggest round of applause should go to the BBC Symphony Chorus, full of passion.’ To complete the album are an arrangement of the national anthem having all the flair that made the tenure of Bliss as Master of the Queen’s Music distinctive and successful, as well as the virtuosic Introduction and Allegro, dedicated to Stokowski and inspired by the powerful sound of American orchestras post-World War I.

Tracklist:
1. The Beatitudes, F. 28: Prelude. A Troubled World
02. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 1, The Mount of Olives
03. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 2, First and Second Beatitudes
04. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 3, Easter
05. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 4, I Got Me Flowers to Strew Thy Way
06. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 5, Third Beatitude
07. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 6, The Lofty Looks of Man Shall Be Humbled
08. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 7, Fourth Beatitude
09. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 8, The Call
10. The Beatitudes, F. 28: Interlude
11. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 9, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh & Eighth Beatitudes
12. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 10, And Death Shall Have No Dominion
13. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 11, Ninth Beatitude
14. The Beatitudes, F. 28: Voices of the Mob
15. The Beatitudes, F. 28: No. 12, Epilogue. O Blessed Jesu
16. Introduction & Allegro, F. 117
17. God Save the Queen (Arr. A. Bliss for Choir & Orchestra)

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Ben Johnson, Emily Birsan, Sir Andrew Davis - Bliss: The Beatitudes, Introduction and Allegro & God Save the Queen (2018)


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