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Best of British from the BBC Proms 2007


Release Date: 01/22/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001061002   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sir Edward ElgarBenjamin BrittenFrederick DeliusOliver Knussen,   ... 
Performer:  Paul WatkinsLeila JosefowiczChristian PolteraPhilip Dukes,   ... 
Conductor:  Jiri BelohlávekOliver KnussenSir Andrew DavisStephen Jackson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony OrchestraBBC Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Oliver Knussen is a serious record collector, and a Stokowski nut, so he should feel at home here. His brief, attractive Violin Concerto (written for Zukerman in 2002) again shows that he is the current British composer who knows how to orchestrate and keep things moving. Leila Josefowicz is intense, passionate, strong, and accurate; she always is. Knussen compares the soloist’s role here to a tightrope walker. The music’s a bit like that too. It does not stray far, melodically, from some dominant repeated tones, starting and ending with a high E. The concerto improves on repeated listening. Knussen’s a damned fine conductor too. I thought the BBC SO sounded better under him than with others in recent years.

...Watkins is
Read more virtuosic and very articulate in the Elgar Concerto... I heard the first performance of the Tippett “Triple” Concerto in 1980. Critics liked it because Sir Michael seemed to have gone tuneful again after a spiky decade. The work now sounds indebted to Britten. I still love it, and this is quite a good performance... At the end, some good singing: foursquare, tonal, and passionate settings of Thomas Campion, composed in 2007. Richard Rodney Bennett’s work here reminded me of John Harbison.

Paul Ingram, FANFARE [7/2008]


As fine a two-disc set of twentieth century English music as one could imagine without the inclusion of anything by Ralph Vaughan Williams, this package featuring the BBC Symphony Orchestra called Best of the British from the BBC Proms 2007 includes some old and new favorites and even some world premieres. The first disc opens with Walton's zesty Portsmouth Point Overture, followed by Elgar's elegiac Cello Concerto, and closes with Britten's evocative Four Sea Interludes from his opera Peter Grimes. The second disc opens with Delius' nostalgic A Song of Summer, followed by the world premiere of Knussen's lyrical Violin Concerto and Tippett's angular Triple Concerto, and closes with the world premiere of Richard Rodney Bennett's a cappella setting of Four Poems of Thomas Campion. The whole of the first disc is led by Jirí Belohlávek, and the Czech-born conductor turns in brilliantly colorful, strongly emphatic performances of the Walton and Britten works and a deeply searching account of the Elgar concerto with cellist Paul Watkins. On the second disc, Andrew Davis leads a passionate performance of the Delius work and a luminous performance of the Tippett work with violinist Daniel Hope, violist Philip Dukes, and cellist Christian Poltéra, while Knussen himself directs his concerto's lyrical debut with fiery violinist Leila Josefowicz and Stephen Jackson directs the BBC Symphony Chorus in Bennett's sweeping Campion settings. Caught in brightly colorful and brilliantly clear sound by Deutsche Grammophon, these performances will please the most discerning Anglophile.

-- James Leonard, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Cello in E minor, Op. 85 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Paul Watkins (Cello)
Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1919; England 
Venue:  Live  BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall 
Length: 26 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Notes: BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall (07/13/2007 - 09/08/2007) 
2.
Peter Grimes: Sea Interludes (4), Op. 33a by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1945; England 
Venue:  Live  BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall 
Length: 16 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall (07/13/2007 - 09/08/2007) 
3.
A Song of Summer by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929-1930; France 
Venue:  Live  BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall 
Length: 10 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall (07/13/2007 - 09/08/2007) 
4.
Concerto for Violin, Op. 30 by Oliver Knussen
Performer:  Leila Josefowicz (Violin)
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; England 
Venue:  Live  BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall 
Length: 16 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall (07/13/2007 - 09/08/2007) 
5.
Concerto for Violin, Viola and Cello by Michael Tippett
Performer:  Christian Poltera (Cello), Philip Dukes (Viola), Daniel Hope (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; England 
Venue:  Live  BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall 
Length: 31 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall (07/13/2007 - 09/08/2007) 
6.
Poems (4) of Thomas Campion by Richard Rodney Bennett
Conductor:  Stephen Jackson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Venue:  Live  BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall 
Length: 12 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall (07/13/2007 - 09/08/2007) 
7.
Portsmouth Point by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; England 
Venue:  Live  BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall 
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: BBC Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall (07/13/2007 - 09/08/2007) 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Disappointing English music August 26, 2012 By JOHN H G. (Cleveland, OH) See All My Reviews "I had hoped for an update of "The Last Night at the Proms" with Sir Colin Davis, an older CD that I have and is a lovely romp of an audience of Brits having a great time singing things Totally British. Instead, this CD, despite a few brighter spots, consists mostly of unexciting and dreary titles which I'm sure appeal to some, but not to me. If one excludes Handel as being German, except for Ralph Vaughn Willians and Sullivan (when he wasn't taking himself too seriously), the last great and enjoyable English composer was Henry Purcell." Report Abuse
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