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Over The Water / Turner, Mackenzie, Manchester Camerata


Release Date: 12/11/2007 
Label:  Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog #: 7191   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz ReizensteinAnthony HedgesMichael HurdArnold Cooke,   ... 
Performer:  John TurnerJohn TurnerLouise ThomsonJanet Fulton
Conductor:  Philip MackenziePhilip McKenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Genuinely pleasurable listening. I bet that you will end-up whistling some of the tunes.

In an review of a CD of various works for recorder and instrumental ensemble, I mentioned that John Turner might well be regarded as the Carl Dolmetsch of our time. He has played, recorded and commissioned - and still does - a number of new works for recorder by composers from a wide-range of musical horizons and generations. This new release is no exception.

Reizenstein’s Partita Op.13b is to some extent the link between Dolmetsch and Turner. It was composed for Dolmetsch, as was Cooke’s Divertimento. The Partita was originally written for recorder and piano; but the composer arranged it later for string trio.
Read more However, it seems that he envisaged a version for string orchestra, since there exist parts for second violin and double bass as well as a copy of the score with hand-written annotations to adapt the accompaniment for full string orchestra. This short Neo-classical work clearly bears the imprint of Reizenstein’s teacher, Hindemith, and none the worse for that, for this is a delightful work of great charm. Incidentally, this and Anthony Hopkins’ delightful Suite have been recorded by Ross Winters and Andrew Ball (on BMS425CD).

There was a time when Gordon Crosse’s music was well served in terms of commercial recordings, some of which are now available again on Lyrita. Then, very little of him was heard for many years, although an odd piece might pop-up again from time to time. Watermusic, dedicated to John Turner as are many of the other works in this selection, was also originally written for recorder and piano and arranged later for strings. It is in three short movements (Prelude, Barcarolle and Hornpipe) that never outstay their welcome.

It is always good to be able to hear some recent piece by Arthur Butterworth whose beautifully crafted music is still unjustly overlooked. A recording of all six of his symphonies is a priority. His short Rêverie Op.113a is based on the tune Farewell Manchester, a popular ballad at the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s brief sojourn in Manchester. Originally written for recorder and piano, this very fine miniature was later scored for recorder, harp and strings.

As already mentioned earlier in this review, Anthony Hopkins’ delightful Suite has also been recorded by Ross Winters and Andrew Ball (on BMS425CD). John Turner suggested an orchestration of the work for strings and harp; but the composer did not feel able to prepare the full score that was actually notated by John Turner under the composer’s supervision.

Francis Jackson may be primarily known as an organist and a composer of finely crafted choral works; but here is Moonrise, a short impression for recorder and piano, composed in 1999 and arranged for string orchestra some time later. A beautifully atmospheric miniature.

Another pupil of Hindemith, the late Arnold Cooke enjoyed a long and prolific creative life. His huge and varied output includes works in almost every genre. Though indebted to Hindemith, Cooke’s music nevertheless managed to be individual, as the lovely Divertimento for recorder and strings heard here clearly shows. This lovely work is in three short and neatly contrasted movements, the whole displaying Cooke’s lighter vein in a most convincing way.

Michael Hurd’s Three-Piece Suite turned out to be his final work, completed in 2004. It is another charming set of three lighthearted miniatures.

Anthony Hedges is a versatile composer equally at ease with ‘serious’ concert music as well as with ‘lighter’ music, both displaying this composer’s remarkable craftsmanship. As many of the other works here, Three Miniatures were composed for recorder and piano. The composer was reluctant to transcribe it for string orchestra, but eventually took up the challenge. The result is another delightful piece in three colourful and neatly characterised movements.

The last work here – and the most substantial – is Elis Pehkonen’s Concerto “Over the Water”. The composer describes it as “a programmatic piece with Jacobite overtones”, because it “traces the history of the 45 from Bonnie Prince Charlie’s arrival at Moidart to the catastrophic battle of Culloden”. It is thus coincidentally linked to Butterworth’s Rêverie. The music does not set out to be descriptive à la Richard Strauss, but has many fine moments of atmospheric writing. The very opening of the first movement Gathering is a case in point. It reminded me of the first time I drove through Glencoe on a wet and misty day! The second movement Advance/Retreat is more overtly descriptive, whereas the final movement Over the Water is an epilogue based on Bonnie Prince Charlie’s tune, on which much of the music is actually founded in one way or another. It is a most welcome find; I had never heard a note of Pehkonen’s music.

John Turner and the Manchester Camerata play magnificently throughout. The whole is nicely recorded and the production is well up to Dutton’s best standards. Do not expect imperishable masterpieces here but you will find a most attractive selection of many finely wrought pieces. They make for genuinely pleasurable listening. I bet that you will end-up whistling some of the tunes.

-- Hubert Culot, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Partita for Recorder and Orchestra, Op 13b by Franz Reizenstein
Performer:  John Turner (Recorder)
Conductor:  Philip Mackenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939/54 
2. Concerto for Recorder "Over the Water" by Elis Pehkonen
Performer:  John Turner (Recorder), John Turner (Recorder)
Conductor:  Philip McKenzie,  Philip Mackenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2004; England 
Venue:  Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, E 
Length: 18 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, England (07/13/2006 - 07/14/2006) 
3. Watermusic by Gordon Crosse
Performer:  John Turner (Recorder), John Turner (Recorder)
Conductor:  Philip McKenzie,  Philip Mackenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, E 
Length: 10 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Notes: Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, England (07/13/2006 - 07/14/2006) 
4. Rêverie, Op. 113a "Farwell Manchester" by Arthur Butterworth
Performer:  John Turner (Recorder), Louise Thomson (Harp)
Conductor:  Philip McKenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, E 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, England (07/13/2006 - 07/14/2006)
Composition written: 2000 - 2005. 
5. Suite for Recorder, Harp and String Orchestra by Antony Hopkins
Performer:  John Turner (Recorder), Louise Thomson (Harp)
Conductor:  Philip McKenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, E 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, England (07/13/2006 - 07/14/2006)
Composition written: 1952 - 2006. 
6. Moonrise by Francis Jackson
Performer:  John Turner (Recorder)
Conductor:  Philip McKenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, E 
Length: 5 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, England (07/13/2006 - 07/14/2006)
Composition written: 1999 - 2004. 
7. Divertimento for Recorder and String Orchestra by Arnold Cooke
Performer:  John Turner (Recorder)
Conductor:  Philip McKenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959 
Venue:  Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, E 
Length: 9 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, England (07/13/2006 - 07/14/2006) 
8. Suite for Recorder and String Orchestra "Three-Piece Suite" by Michael Hurd
Performer:  John Turner (Recorder)
Conductor:  Philip McKenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2004 
Venue:  Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, E 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, England (07/13/2006 - 07/14/2006) 
9. Miniatures (3) for Recorder, Harp, Percussion and String Orchestra by Anthony Hedges
Performer:  John Turner (Recorder), Louise Thomson (Harp), Janet Fulton (Percussion)
Conductor:  Philip McKenzie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manchester Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, E 
Length: 7 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, England (07/13/2006 - 07/14/2006)
Composition written: 2004 - 2005. 

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