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Gold & Silver / Barbiolli, Halle Orchestra

Lehar / Debussy / Halle Orchestra / Barbiolli
Release Date: 11/08/2011 
Label:  Opus Kura   Catalog #: 7057   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz LehárClaude DebussyEmmanuel ChabrierGaetano Donizetti,   ... 
Performer:  Laurance Turner
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



GOLD AND SILVER: HALLÉ ORCHESTRA (1950–57) John Barbirolli, cond; Hallé O OPUS KURA 7057, mono (68: 48)


LEHÁR Gold and Silver Waltz (1952 and 1957 recordings). DEBUSSY Prélude à L’Après-midi d’un faune. TCHAIKOVSKY Swan Lake: Suite. Read more class="COMPOSER12">CHABRIER España. DONIZETTI Don Pasquale: Overture. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Capriccio espagnol


This attractive Barbirolli collection is more adventurous than it appears at first glance, for on closer inspection most of it seems to be either new to CD or not otherwise available. The majority of it consists of EMI material from October 1950 ( Swan Lake Suite) to January 1954 ( España; Don Pasquale Overture), with the alternative Gold and Silver (Pye, 1957) thrown in as a bonus.


From a musical standpoint, one could (and I would) make the case that the 1950s were the highpoint of Barbirolli’s career: His Hallé sessions from this time enshrine performances of greater originality, character, and depth than his brilliant but often (to my mind) slightly superficial New York work; at the same time they have an edge and vitality that his later Hallé work from the 1960s rarely recaptured.


Lehár’s Gold and Silver was a Barbirolli signature piece, and really crackles in both recordings, illustrating to perfection the distinctive zest, responsiveness, esprit de corps, and sheer expressive generosity of the Hallé’s style in those days, that unique Barbirolli sound of every string player seeming to give 120 percent (listen to the central D-Major waltz here, at around 4:35, especially in 1952). Surprisingly, the earlier recording comes across with superior amplitude, body, and solidity. Debussy’s faun is wider-awake than usual, bright-eyed and purposeful at a mere eight-and-a-half minutes—flexible phrase molding without indulgence, and the spontaneous sense of a real performance caught on the wing in the studio. The expressive range is remarkable, from the all-stops-out violins in the central D?-Major tune to the breath-catching delicacy of the end. The Swan Lake Suite, with a radically foreshortened waltz (not a single repeat taken!), characteristically mixes take-no-prisoners élan with many imaginatively interventionist touches in ear-catching unwritten dynamic contrasts. Capriccio espagnol too is full of imaginative detail—nothing is taken for granted, even in this warhorse. España is dispatched with razor-sharp point (here and elsewhere, notice some unusually assertive, characterful harp playing), and the Don Pasquale overture is strongly characterized, forcibly reminding us of Barbirolli’s immigrant roots.


Opus Kura’s transfers from HMV and Pye LPs and EPs are outstandingly vivid in their house style, leaping from the speakers with a vibrancy and vitality that puts the sound of the Dutton/Barbirolli Society series quite in the shade. There’s a good note on Barbirolli by Tully Potter. Especially in view of the gaps it fills in the Barbirolli CD discography, this is a highly desirable collection.


FANFARE: Boyd Pomeroy
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Works on This Recording

1. Gold und Silber, Op. 79 by Franz Lehár
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1957 
Length: 7 Minutes 53 Secs. 
2. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1953 
Length: 8 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3. España by Emmanuel Chabrier
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Date of Recording: 01/1954 
Length: 6 Minutes 10 Secs. 
4. Don Pasquale: Overture by Gaetano Donizetti
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1954 
Length: 6 Minutes 13 Secs. 
5. Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/1953 
Length: 14 Minutes 27 Secs. 
6. Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a: Scène by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1950 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
7. Swan Lake, Op. 20: no 27, Act 4 - Danse des petits cygnes by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1950 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
8. Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a: no 4, 2nd Dance of the Queen by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Laurance Turner (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1950 
Length: 5 Minutes 6 Secs. 
9. Swan Lake, Op. 20: no 2, Act 1 - Valse by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1950 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 
10. Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a: no 5, Danse hongroise "Czardas" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1950 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 

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