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Neville Marriner & Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields - Fantasia on 'Greensleeves' (1997) 2CDs [Re-Up]

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Neville Marriner & Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields - Fantasia on 'Greensleeves' (1997) 2CDs [Re-Up]

Neville Marriner & Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields - Fantasia on 'Greensleeves' (1997) 2CD
Ralph Vaughan Williams - Peter Warlock - George Butterworth - Frederick Delius - Edward Elgar

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 630 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 348 Mb | Scans ~ 15 Mb
Genre: Classical | Label: Decca | # 452 707-2 | Time: 02:29:40

This is not strictly a compilation of what the British would term "light music," for there is music of substantial weight on these two discs: e.g., Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending, Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad, and Elgar's Introduction and Allegro, but for the most part, Marriner and his charges offer less weighty fare that is familiar to many classical music-lovers and certainly dear to the heart of Anglophiles like this writer. From Vaughan Williams's perennial favorites, Fantasia on Greensleeves and the English Folk Song Suite, and George Butterworth's nigh-ubiquitous The Banks of Green Willow to less familiar fare like Delius's Serenade (composed to honor the 70th birthday of Frederick Delius) and the suite from Elgar's incomplete opera The Spanish Lady, this compilation of recordings–originally made in 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1979–embodies the spirit of England and does so faultlessly. This is a well chosen and exemplarily executed collection of English orchestral miniatures proffered by a conductor and orchestra whose names have become synonymous with the repertoire.

Ian Bostridge, Julius Drake - The English Songbook (1999)

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Ian Bostridge, Julius Drake - The English Songbook (1999)

Ian Bostridge, Julius Drake - The English Songbook (1999)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 226 Mb | Total time: 69:13 | Scans included
Classical | Label: EMI Classics | # 56830 | Recorded: 1999

The recital begins with Keats and ends with Shakespeare: that can’t be bad. But it also begins with Stanford and ends with Parry; what would the modernists of their time have thought about that? They would probably not have believed that those two pillars of the old musical establishment would still be standing by in 1999. And in fact how well very nearly all these composers stand! Quilter’s mild drawing–room manners might have been expected to doom him, but the three songs here – the affectionate, easy grace of his Tennyson setting, the restrained passion of his ‘Come away, death’ and the infectious zest of ‘I will go with my father a–ploughing’ – endear him afresh and demonstrate once again the wisdom of artists who recognise their own small area of ‘personal truth’ and refuse to betray it in exchange for a more fashionable ‘originality’.

Sir Thomas Beecham & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Ascona, 1957: Beethoven, Handel, Delius, Sibelius (2000)

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Sir Thomas Beecham & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Ascona, 1957: Beethoven, Handel, Delius, Sibelius (2000)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.7; George Frideric Handel: Love in Bath, Ballet Suite
Frederick Delius: A Village Romeo and Juliet; Jean Sibelius: Alla marcia da, Karelia Suite
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 308 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 177 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: AURA | # AUR 142-2 ADD | Time: 01:11:54

Beethoven reputedly wasn't Beecham's favorite composer, but you wouldn't know it from this performance; it's exceedingly well conceived, highly energetic, and has that unique Beecham sparkle to it. The fillers also are delightful. All recorded in Ascona, Switzerland in 1957.

Tasmin Little, BBC PO, Sir Andrew Davis - The Lark Ascending: Works by Moeran, Delius, Holst, Elgar, Vaughan Williams (2013)

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Tasmin Little, BBC PO, Sir Andrew Davis - The Lark Ascending: Works by Moeran, Delius, Holst, Elgar, Vaughan Williams (2013)

The Lark Ascending: E.J. Moeran - Violin Concerto (2013)
and works by Frederick Delius, Gustav Holst, Sir Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams
Tasmin Little (violin); BBC Philharmonic; Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 306 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 176 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 10796 | Time: 01:15:44

Tasmin Little's 2013 release on Chandos is an exploration of lush and lyrical music for violin and orchestra, composed by the leading British composers of the early 20th century, and it is an album of remarkable depth and beauty. Opening the program is the Concerto for violin & orchestra by E.J. Moeran, which sets the mood for the disc with its long-breathed, melancholy lines and pastoral atmosphere. While this is a technically challenging work that shows Little to her best advantage as a virtuoso, listeners may come away from the piece recalling its sweet ambience more than its flashiness. The same could also be said for Frederick Delius' Légende, Gustav Holst's A Song of the Night, and Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, all three of which provide tests for the violinist's skills, yet are filled with such gorgeous music that listeners may only remember the general opulence of the scores. Also included are premiere recordings of Roger Turner's arrangements of Edward Elgar's Chanson de matin, Chanson de nuit, and Salut d'amour, which in orchestration, mood, and style fit the rest of the album nicely.