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Thomas Linley Jr: The Song Of Moses, Let God Arise / Holman, Gooding, Daneman, King, Et Al

Release Date: 08/12/2008 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55302   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Thomas Linley Jr.
Performer:  Julia GoodingAndrew KingSophie DanemanAndrew Dale Forbes
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of InstrumentsHolst Singers
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

LINLEY II The Song of Moses. Let God Arise Peter Holman, cond; Julia Gooding (sop); Sophie Daneman (sop); Robin Blaze (alt); Andrew King (tn); Andrew Dale Forges (bs); Holst Singers; Parley of Instruments HELIOS 55302 (66:31)

Thomas Linley’s family came to prominence in the musical and theatrical life of Bath during the second half of the 18th century. The elder Thomas Linley was so successful that he became leader and then musical director of the orchestra in London’s fabled Drury Lane Theatre, then under Read more the direction of the great David Garrick. He eventually became joint manager at Drury Lane when his son-in-law, the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, succeeded Garrick. Meanwhile, the younger Thomas (1756–1778) was so precocious as a violinist and composer that he was sent to Italy, where he studied with Nardini and met the young Mozart. On his return from Italy and after his family’s permanent move to London, young Thomas began composing prolifically. The quality of this music (violin concertos and sonatas, choral works, songs, comic operas, and other theatrical works, very little of which survives) quickly established the younger Linley in London circles. The portrait painted by Gainsborough about 1773 depicts a handsome, pleasant looking youth with a sensitive mouth and keenly intelligent eyes. His death at age twenty-two, in a boating accident while on vacation with his family, was regarded at the time as depriving “the profession of one of its principal ornaments,” and subsequently as one of English music’s greatest losses. This Helios disc reissues recordings (made in 1997 and released by Hyperion the following year) of Linley’s earliest major works that survive, the anthem Let God Arise (1773), coupled with one of his last compositions, the oratorio to a text by John Hoadly, The Song of Moses (1777).

Linley’s music sounds very much of its time, a period when William Boyce was Master of the King’s Musick and Thomas Arne’s music embellished the theater. Carl Friedrich Abel and J. C. Bach were building the Hanover Square rooms to accommodate their famous joint concerts, and the long shadow of Handel still loomed. It is no surprise that so young a composer reflects many of these influences. Linley leans more toward the Italianate than toward the early Classicism of J. C. Bach, though many of the solo arias are reminiscent of Bach’s galant style. Still, an original voice emerges in these skillfully crafted scores, and it’s obvious that Linley was developing rapidly during the four years that separate the two works. Cunning instrumental effects in the Song of Moses chorus, “The Wave Hath Closed,” and the grateful writing for strings in the French overture of Let God Arise hint at the magnitude of what may have been lost with Linley’s 20-odd violin concertos (only one of which survives). The Holst Singers negotiate these translucent choral textures with spirit and sympathy. If Linley’s polyphony seldom approaches the summit of High Baroque practice, in movements like “Wonderful Art Thou,” he nevertheless achieves a Handelian grandeur. Peter Holman leads his musicians in lovingly prepared, affecting performances. Among the soloists, Julia Gooding and Sophie Daneman sing the difficult “Jehovah Ever Be My Song” duet from The Song of Moses with particular distinction. With so little of Linley’s music extant and its representation on recordings scant, these performances are of compelling interest.

FANFARE: Patrick Rucker
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Works on This Recording

The Song of Moses by Thomas Linley Jr.
Performer:  Julia Gooding (Soprano), Andrew King (Tenor), Sophie Daneman (Soprano),
Andrew Dale Forbes (Bass)
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Holst Singers
Period: Classical 
Written: 1777; England 
Length: 42 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Let God arise by Thomas Linley Jr.
Conductor:  Peter Holman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments
Period: Classical 
Written: 1773; England 
Length: 20 Minutes 9 Secs. 

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