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Knussen Conducts Knussen / Tuckwell, Shelton


Release Date: 11/18/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 449572   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Oliver Knussen
Performer:  Barry TuckwellLucy SheltonPaul SilverthorneMichael Collins,   ... 
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 51 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Oliver Knussen is such a very good conductor, often giving revelatory performances of modern scores that we had thought to be difficult until he took them on, that it’s valuable to be reminded that he is after all a composer who conducts, not a conductor who does a bit of composing in his spare time. This is a sample of what he’s written since his two one-act operas Where the Wild Things are (1984) and Higglety Pigglety Pop! (1985), a period during which, he says, he has come to prefer being “bewitched for a few minutes than hypnotized for an hour”.

Bewitching these pieces certainly are, and although all are quite short none is a miniature. The Flourish, written for Michael Tilson Thomas’s first concert as Musical Director of
Read more the LSO, has lyrical substance as well as the appropriate ‘occasional’ brilliance. The Way to Castle Yonder is a very brief suite from Higglety Pigglety Pop!, but also a vivid, almost Ravelian orchestral tone-poem in its own right. Knussen’s operas will tell you that he loves fantasy, and he takes a child’s as well as a craftsman’s pleasure in beautifully wrought machines that work perfectly. The Organa are fine examples of this, brilliantly ingenious miniatures that use a twelfth-century technique to modern ends with such audible logic and lucid instrumentation that you want to hear both again immediately. Something similar happens in Music for a Puppet Court, two solutions to puzzle-canons by the Tudor composer John Lloyd flanking further developments of the same material and in the same spirit; again, not the least pleasure of repeated hearing is the satisfaction of working out how it’s done.

The most substantial works here and what might seem like the slightest are both in a sense dreams. “... upon one note” is a day-dream from which Knussen is awoken by Purcell. The Horn Concerto is a beautiful, allusive dream about all the worlds that the solo horn can evoke, from woodland poetry to dark menace: it is a spellbinding piece, ingeniously structured and superbly written for the instrument, and it deserves to be widely heard. Knussen is a masterly orchestrator, and the only slight doubt I had about any of the music in this collection is that the orchestral colour and imagery in the Whitman settings are more graspable and more memorable than the vocal lines. Unalloyed pleasure otherwise, and strongly recommended.

-- Michael Oliver, Gramophone [1/1997]
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Works on This Recording

1. Flourish with Fireworks, Op. 22 by Oliver Knussen
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988/1993; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  All Hallows Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: Ver: 1993 
2. The Way to Castle Yonder, Op. 21a by Oliver Knussen
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988-1990; England 
Date of Recording: 10/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 25 Secs. 
3. Two Organa, Op. 27 by Oliver Knussen
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  All Hallows Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 12 Secs. 
4. Concerto for Horn, Op. 28 by Oliver Knussen
Performer:  Barry Tuckwell (French Horn)
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; England 
Date of Recording: 10/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 12 Minutes 24 Secs. 
5. Music for a Puppet Court, Op. 11 by Oliver Knussen
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; England 
Date of Recording: 10/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 31 Secs. 
6. Whitman Settings, Op. 25a by Oliver Knussen
Performer:  Lucy Shelton (Soprano)
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  All Hallows Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 10 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: English 
7. "...upon one note" by Oliver Knussen
Performer:  Paul Silverthorne (Viola), Michael Collins (Clarinet), Clio Gould (Violin),
John Constable (Piano), Christopher Van Kampen (Cello)
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1995 
Venue:  All Hallows Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Flourish with Fireworks, op.22 Tempo giusto e vigoroso - Molto vivace
The Way to Castle Yonder, op.21a: The Journey to The Big White House
The Way to Castle Yonder, op.21a: - Kleine Trauermusik
The Way to Castle Yonder, op.21a: - The Ride to Castle Yonder
Two Organa, op.27: 1. Notre Dame des Jouets
Two Organa, op.27: 2. Organum to honour the 20th anniversary of the Schoenberg Ensemble
Horn Concerto, op.28: Intrada
Horn Concerto, op.28: - Fantastico
Horn Concerto, op.28: - Cadenza
Horn Concerto, op.28: - Envoi
Music for a Puppet Court, op.11: 1. Puzzle I "Iste tenor ascendit".
Music for a Puppet Court, op.11: 2. Toyshop Music after "tris".
Music for a Puppet Court, op.11: 3. Antiphon after "Iste tenor ascendit...".
Music for a Puppet Court, op.11: 4. Puzzle II "tris".
Whitman Settings, op.25a: 1. When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
Whitman Settings, op.25a: 2. A Noiseless Patient Spider
Whitman Settings, op.25a: 3. The Dalliance of the Eagles
Whitman Settings, op.25a: 4. The Voice of the Rain
...upon one note (Fantazia after Purcell)

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