Notes and Editorial Reviews
"As Rumon Gamba's nicely slick performances with BBCNOW show, these are all nicely proportioned pieces...they don't deserve the total neglect they've suffered for the last three-quarters of a century." -
Rumon Gamba and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales present a collection of rarely heard overtures from the British Isles. Among these is Sir Frederic Cowen’s The Butterfly’s Ball (1901), illustrating a popular children’s poem by William Roscoe. All is vividly evoked by Cowen’s pleasing melodic lines and delicate instrumental colour. It is easy to see why, in its day, the piece was a firm favourite, being played twenty-six times at the Proms between 1900 and 1940. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
achieved immediate success early in his career with his four-part cantata cycle collectively known as Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha. The Overture, composed in 1899, was intended as a prelude to the complete cycle but is now rarely heard in this context. Indeed, very little of the material in this Overture comes from the other Hiawatha pieces, the principal theme being the spiritual ‘Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord’. Perhaps better known as a leading baritone of his generation, Frederic Austin was also a composer of some achievement. In his tuneful and exciting concert overture The Sea Venturers, from 1936, he wanted to evoke ‘something of the lives and character of English seamen who...took peril and pleasure as it came’. -
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Works on This Recording
The Sea Venturers, concert overture by Frederic Austin
Length: 11 Minutes 7 Secs.
Oedipus Rex Prelude, Op. 29 by Charles Villiers Stanford
Written: 1887; England
Length: 8 Minutes 27 Secs.
The Song of Hiawatha, Op. 30: 3. Overture by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Length: 11 Minutes 21 Secs.
Butterfly's Ball, concert overture for orchestra by Frederic H. Cowen
Length: 11 Minutes 48 Secs.
The Frogs: Overture by Granville Bantock
Length: 8 Minutes 26 Secs.
The Little Minister: Overture by Alexander Mackenzie
Length: 8 Minutes 12 Secs.
MacBeth: Overture by Arthur Sullivan
Written: 1888; England
Length: 8 Minutes 13 Secs.
Overture to a Comedy, for orchestra by Henry Balfour Gardiner
Length: 8 Minutes 29 Secs.
Oedipus Tyrannus, Op. 29: Prelude
Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha, Op. 30: No. 3. Overture
The Little Minister, Op. 57: Overture
Macbeth *: Macbeth: Overture
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