WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

English Choral Music - Elgar: Part-songs / Robinson, Et Al


Release Date: 03/25/2008 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570541   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

At last, an expertly sung rendition of Owls (An Epitaph) that also captures the detail and ambience necessary to impart its delightfully weird, impressionistic atmosphere. Of course, this very fine choir also delivers excellent performances of many of Elgar's more well-known and best-loved partsongs on this thoughtfully programmed, very well recorded collection. Elgar fans will appreciate not only the Cambridge University Chamber Choir's assured and technically solid versions of There is Sweet Music, My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land, and The Prince of Sleep, but also will be happy to find the rarely recorded Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, here in its original setting with piano accompaniment. The choir, whose 30-plus singers "are Read more drawn from the graduate and undergraduate communities of the University", was founded in the late-1980s to perform "secular and non-liturgical" repertoire that normally isn't sung by the chapel choirs, and on evidence here its quality is of a standard worthy of those better-known, longstanding institutions. The engineering gives clarity to the men's voices that we don't usually get from recordings made in churches--and it's a treat, because their sound is especially lovely.

Importantly, this program brings our attention to several fine but infrequently heard pieces such as Love's Tempest and Serenade, and reminds us that those Bavarian Highlands songs, especially a couple of the middle ones (Aspiration; On the Alm), actually are better than we may remember. And conductor Christopher Robinson shows us how a straightforward, unmannered treatment of As Torrents in Summer can be the most effective way to sing it. Yes, we also notice how Elgar could overwork and overextend his material--Deep in my Soul; Go, Song of Mine--but that's easily forgiven alongside classics such as There is Sweet Music and My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land. Highly recommended!

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Choral Songs (4), Op. 53 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; England 
2. Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30: As Torrents in Summer by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1896; England 
3. The Prince of Sleep by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1925; England 
4. Choral Songs (2), Op. 71 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; England 
5. Partsongs (3), Op. 18: no 3, My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; England 
6. Death on the Hills, Op. 72 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; England 
7. Choral Songs (2), Op. 73 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; England 
8. Evening Scene by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; England 
9. Go, Song of mine, Op. 57 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; England 
10. From the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Christopher Robinson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; England 

Sound Samples

4 Choral songs, Op. 53: No. 1. There is Sweet Music
4 Choral songs, Op. 53: No. 2. Deep in my Soul
4 Choral songs, Op. 53: No. 3. O Wild West Wind!
4 Choral songs, Op. 53: No. 4. Owls (An Epitaph)
Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30: As Torrents in Summer
The Prince of Sleep
2 Choral songs, Op. 71: No. 1. The Shower
2 Choral songs, Op. 71: No. 2. The Fountain
My love dwelt in a Northern land, Op. 18, No. 3: My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land, Op. 18, No. 3
Death on the Hills, Op. 72
2 Choral songs, Op. 73: No. 1. Love's Tempest
2 Choral songs, Op. 73: No. 2. Serenade
Evening Scene
Go, song of mine, Op. 57: Go, Song of Mine, Op. 57
Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27: No. 1. The Dance
Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27: No. 2. False Love
Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27: No. 3. Lullaby
Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27: No. 4. Aspiration
Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27: No. 5. On the Alm
Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27: No. 6. The Marksmen

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook