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The Best Of The Glasgow Orpheus Choir / Roberton


Release Date: 11/27/2007 
Label:  Regis   Catalog #: 1280   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  William GardinerMarjorie Kennedy-FraserTraditionalJohannes Brahms,   ... 
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A smooth curve into slumber sweet ... another astutely done winner from Regis.

Famed for their soft, smooth and sweetly sustained singing, the Glasgow Orpheus was founded in 1901 and continued until 1951. Out of their ashes sprang the Glasgow Phoenix Choir which remains in existence. The founder of the Orpheus was Sir Hugh Roberton (1874-1952).

Much of the selection here is warm, slow and poetic. Crimond, Orlington and Belmont (trs. 9, 5, 1) are good examples. The choir’s recorded catalogue quite naturally plays to their strengths and to the gallery. However there are some vigorous display pieces and they are brightly characterised: try Bonnie Dundee and The Dashing White Sergeant. They are not in the
Read more majority though. Amongst the loveliest tracks here is Stanford's The Blue Bird (tr. 11) which ironically is here given with stronger rhythmic fibre than you may be used to. All the choir’s signature tracks are here, including All in the April Evening (tr. 13). A slightly pockmarked recording of White Waves on the Water (tr. 14) is given with piano accompaniment and in a noticeably harder acoustic than the other pieces. The piano also puts in another appearance for Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring. Continuing the Celtic vein we have The Faery Song from Rutland Boughton's opera The Immortal Hour. This is extremely well done with much accenting and colour in a work often treated to a moonlit bleached dove-grey - pity's it's so short. Nice to see that one of Bantock's landslide of arrangements appears at O Can Ye Sew Cushions? (tr. 20).

Choir fanciers starting out on an Orphean collection would do very well to start here. Regis do not provide the words but one of the manifest virtues of the choir is their balance of enunciation with the avoidance of pedantry. Peter Avis's seven page note will tell you all the essentials and more. The technical aspects have been lovingly handled. The only real criticism is the surfeit of the smooth and the dreamy - but that's the recorded legacy of the Glasgow Orpheus. Not for night-time driving but certainly a gentle curve into slumber sweet. Another astutely done winner from Regis.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Belmont by William Gardiner
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1812; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arrangers: Hugh Roberton; Samuel Webbe. 
2.
Songs of the Hebrides: Peat-fire Smooring Prayer by Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
3.
All through the night by Traditional
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Written: Wales, UK 
4.
Deutsche Volkslieder (14), WoO 34: no 8, In stiller Nacht by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir
5.
The Immortal Hour: The faery song by Rutland Boughton
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; England 
6.
O can ye sew cushions by Traditional
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Written: Scotland 
7.
The Cloud Capp’d Towers by Richard John S. Stevens
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
8.
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
9.
The Old Woman by Hugh S Roberton
Conductor:  Hugh Roberton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir

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