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Hely-Hutchinson: A Carol Symphony / Sutherland, Prague Philharmonic


Release Date: 10/21/2003 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557099   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Bryan KellyVictor Hely-HutchinsonPeter WarlockPhilip Lane,   ... 
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


There's nothing like Christmas to bring out a composer's more unapologetically clever and enthusiastically indulgent, prodigiously inventive ideas, in apparent realization of childhood's most extravagant fantasies and enchanted imaginings, to say nothing of providing a wonderful excuse for an artist to simply go happily and uninhibitedly wild. The collection of Christmas-inspired orchestral "fantasies" on this CD is certain to become one of your favorite holiday listening traditions as you join these five composers in an upbeat--and sometimes unconventional--celebration of some of the season's most familiar Christmas carols and songs.


Of course, you can treat the
Read more material in a variety of ways, from the more straightforward yet impressively adroit fantasias on easily recognizable (if often rhythmically or melodically altered) tunes offered in Bryan Kelly's five-movement Improvisations on Christmas Carols to Victor Hely-Hutchinson's more deliberate attempt at symphonic style and structure in A Carol Symphony, where he actually incorporates carols such as Adeste fideles, God rest ye merry gentlemen, The Coventry Carol, The first nowell, and Here we come a-wassailing into a legitimate four-movement theme-and-development framework


At the program's mid-point we're treated to a string-orchestra arrangement (by composer and liner-note writer Philip Lane) of Peter Warlock's famed carol Bethlehem Down, followed by Lane's own three-movement Wassail Dances from 1973. This latter work shows a fine command of orchestral color and a healthy respect for the power of rhythm and momentum. Finally, we hear Patric Standford's A Christmas Carol Symphony, a big, robust, ruddy-cheeked tribute to this most happy and optimistic of holidays that proudly and relentlessly exerts its sparkling, brassy, brightly colored atmosphere through a mélange of at least a dozen carols, from Deck the hall and Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen to Ding dong merrily on high, The holly and the ivy, and We wish you a merry Christmas. The City of Prague Philharmonic proves a first-rate interpreter of these scores, conveying all the music's exuberance and spirit with flawless technical prowess and Technicolor-grade contributions from the winds and brass. Conductor Gavin Sutherland deserves credit for inspired leadership in these all-too-rarely performed works--any one of which would make a guaranteed audience-pleasing addition to a holiday concert. Having these together on one budget-priced CD is truly a gift worthy of the season it celebrates. And Naxos complements the whole production with top-grade sound. Adeste fidelis!
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Improvisations on Christmas Carols by Bryan Kelly
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; England 
Length: 12 Minutes 46 Secs. 
2.
Carol Symphony by Victor Hely-Hutchinson
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; England 
Length: 24 Minutes 42 Secs. 
3.
Bethlehem Down by Peter Warlock
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
4.
Wassail Dances (3) by Philip Lane
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973; England 
Length: 8 Minutes 3 Secs. 
5.
A Christmas Carol Symphony by Patric Standford
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; England 
Length: 18 Minutes 19 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Improvisations on Christmas Carols: Allegro
Improvisations on Christmas Carols: Andante non troppo
Improvisations on Christmas Carols: Slowly
Improvisations on Christmas Carols: Moderato
Improvisations on Christmas Carols: Allegro
A Carol Symphony: Allegro energico
A Carol Symphony: Scherzo: Allegro molto moderato
A Carol Symphony: Andante quasi lento e contabile
A Carol Symphony: Allegro energico come prima
Bethlehem Down (arr. P. Lane): Bethlehem Down, a carol for strings
Wassail Dances: Vivace
Wassail Dances: Andantino
Wassail Dances: Vivace
A Christmas Carol Symphony: Vivace
A Christmas Carol Symphony: Andante tranquillo
A Christmas Carol Symphony: Allegretto
A Christmas Carol Symphony: Rondo finale

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