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Fantasia On Greensleeves, Etc / Neville Marriner, Asmf


Release Date: 08/26/1997 
Label:  London/Decca Double Decker Catalog #: 452707   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan WilliamsFrederick DeliusPeter WarlockGeorge Butterworth,   ... 
Performer:  Iona BrownNicholas KraemerKenneth HeathRaymond Keenlyside,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 30 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Many have dismissed English music as lackluster, monotonous, and boring; some have gone even further to state that English composers were miniaturists not capable of sustaining the larger forms. True, some of those who attempted the symphony and concerto did not have a grasp equivalent to their reach, but have the naysayers not heard Frank Bridge's Oration or Phantasm? And what about the piano concertos of Herbert Howells and Arthur Bliss or the symphonies of William Walton and Arnold Bax? If truth be told, a number of English composers tackled and mastered the larger forms and did so admirably, although–with the exception of a precious few like Hubert Parry and Charles Stanford–their work has fallen into relative, if not total obscurity. Read more Those aside, there were any number of fine composers who produced numerous excellent, but relatively brief orchestral works that have stood the test of time and even developed a following on both sides of the Atlantic. A number of these have now been granted long-overdue recognition by way of the "British Light Music" series found on Marco Polo and Naxos and a number of similar discs on ASV and Hyperion.

This is not strictly a compilation of what the British would term "light music," for there is music of substantial weight on these two discs: e.g., Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending, Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad, and Elgar's Introduction and Allegro, but for the most part, Marriner and his charges offer less weighty fare that is familiar to many classical music-lovers and certainly dear to the heart of Anglophiles like this writer.

From Vaughan Williams's perennial favorites, Fantasia on Greensleeves and the English Folk Song Suite, and George Butterworth's nigh-ubiquitous The Banks of Green Willow to less familiar fare like Delius's Serenade (composed to honor the 70th birthday of Frederick Delius) and the suite from Elgar's incomplete opera The Spanish Lady, this compilation of recordings–originally made in 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1979–embodies the spirit of England and does so faultlessly.

This is a well chosen and exemplarily executed collection of English orchestral miniatures proffered by a conductor and orchestra whose names have become synonymous with the repertoire. In fact, one could go so far as to say that Neville Marriner is English music, for even though this ensemble, which he founded in 1959 for noontime concerts in the church that gave the orchestra its name, made its reputation via a series of stunning recordings of Baroque works, Marriner and his colleagues went on to fill a significant gap in the recorded repertoire of British music by championing these works and many others by British composers.

A sad note to conclude, however. The music world lost the vibrant, gifted, and beautiful Iona Brown (Marriner's long-time leader and later music director of the Academy) last year to cancer. It is her definitive 1972 interpretation of Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending that graces the first CD in this set, a fitting and gentle tribute to Ms. Brown, whose artistry will be missed by many other than this writer. Her dreamy, sensuous, and soaring interpretation alone would qualify Decca's compilation for Classical Hall of Fame, but the inclusion of masterful interpretations of the remaining titles (especially Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad and The Banks of Green Willow and Elgar's Introduction and Allegro), further pleads a most eloquent, elegant, and undeniable case for this new Hall of Fame inductee.

-- Michael Carter, FANFARE
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; England 
Notes: Arranged: Ralph Greaves 
2.
The lark ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Iona Brown (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914/1920; England 
3.
English Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; England 
Notes: Arranged: Gordon Jacob 
4.
Pieces (2) for Small Orchestra: no 1, On Hearing the First Cuckoo by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; France 
5.
Serenade for Strings by Peter Warlock
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1922; England 
6.
Capriol Suite by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Nicholas Kraemer (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; England 
7.
A Shropshire Lad by George Butterworth
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
8.
English Idylls (2) by George Butterworth
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; England 
9.
Banks of Green Willow by George Butterworth
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; England 
10.
A Village Romeo and Juliet: Walk to the Paradise Garden by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900-1901; France 
Notes: Composition written: France (1900 - 1901). 
11.
Hassan: Intermezzo by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1923; France 
Notes: Arranged: Thomas Beecham
This selection shares a track and timing with the Serenade from 'Hassan.' 
12.
Hassan: Serenade by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1923; France 
Notes: Arranged: Thomas Beecham
This selection shares a track and timing with the Intermezzo from 'Hassan.' 
13.
A Song Before Sunrise by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; France 
14.
Pieces (2) for Small Orchestra: no 2, Summer Night on the River by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; France 
15.
Koanga: La Calinda by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1895-1897; Paris, France 
16.
Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; England 
17.
Sospiri, Op. 70 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; England 
18.
Elegy for Strings, Op. 58 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; England 
19.
The Spanish Lady, Op. 89: Suite by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
20.
Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and String Orchestra, Op. 47 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Kenneth Heath (Cello), Raymond Keenlyside (Violin), Hugh Maguire (Violin),
Kenneth Essex (Viola)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904-1905; England 

Sound Samples

Fantasia On Greensleeves
The Lark Ascending
English Folk Song Suite: 1. March: Seventeen come Sunday
English Folk Song Suite: 2. Intermezzo: My bonny boy
English Folk Song Suite: 3. March: Folk Songs from Somerset
Serenade for strings
Capriol Suite: 1. Basse-danse
Capriol Suite: 2. Pavane
Capriol Suite: 3. Tordion
Capriol Suite: 4. Bransles
Capriol Suite: 5. Pied-en- l'air
Capriol Suite: 6. Mattachins (Sword Dance)
A Shropshire Lad - Rhapsody
Two English Idylls
The Banks of Green Willow
A Village Romeo and Juliet, Music Drama in six scenes - Arr. Beecham: The Walk To The Paradise Garden
Intermezzo and Serenade from Hassan
A Song before sunrise
On hearing the first Cuckoo in Spring
Summer night on the river
Koanga - lyric drama in 3 Acts / Act 2: La Calinda (Choral dance)
Serenade for String Orchestra in E minor, Op.20: 1. Allegro piacevole
Serenade for String Orchestra in E minor, Op.20: 2. Larghetto
Serenade for String Orchestra in E minor, Op.20: 3. Allegretto
Sospiri, Op.70
Elegy for strings, Op.58
Suite from the Spanish Lady
Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op.47

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Relaxing September 5, 2012 By Carole S. (Chestnut Hill, MA) See All My Reviews "Enjoyable listening. As always from Arkiv an excellent value & a good recommendation." Report Abuse
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