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Elgar: The Music Makers & The Spirit of England / Connolly, Staples, Davis, BBC Symphony


Release Date: 11/16/2018 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5215  
Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Sarah ConnollyAndrew Staples
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony OrchestraBBC Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



Distinguished British music interpreter Sir Andrew Davis joins forces with the BBCSO once again, this time with acclaimed soloists Dame Sarah Connolly and Andrew Staples, in this thoughtful presentation of the last two substantial choral works of Sir Edward Elgar. The matury of Elgar as an orchestrator is obvious in both works on this album, notably, in ‘The Music Makers’ (1912), during passages in which he quotes from ‘Sea Pictures’ and the Violin Concerto, and in representing the sound of aircraft in ‘The Spirit of England’ (1917). Elgar uses self-quotation to reflect: ‘The Music Makers’ is a canvas of self-reflection, written quickly following a period of illness. The
Read more orchestral introduction is introspective, melancholic, and noble, before the words of Arthur O’Shaughanessy’s poem and much self-quotation within the music offer an insight into the sense of nostalgia and awareness of the loneliness of the creative artist felt by the composer. ‘The Spirit of England’ reflects on the sadness and desolation of war felt by a nation, with the inclusion of quotations from ‘The Dream of Gerontius’ in some of the more negative stanzas that Elgar found harder to set. Specified in the score for tenor or soprano, all three movements are sung here by a tenor in a recording first. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Music Makers, Op. 69 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912; England 
2.
The Spirit of England, Op. 80 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Andrew Staples (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1915-1917; England 

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