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Knussen: Horn Concerto, Whitman Settings, Etc


Release Date: 11/11/2003 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 474322   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Oliver Knussen
Performer:  Barry TuckwellLucy SheltonChristopher Van KampenPaul Silverthorne,   ... 
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 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

A superb collection of Knussen nuggets has been attractively repackaged.

‘Nothing is likely about masterpieces, least of all whether there will be any.’ So Stravinsky is supposed to have remarked in a conversation with Robert Craft. None of the pieces on this disc lasts as much as a quarter of an hour, but several might just qualify. Is there a more scintillating concert-opener than Knussen’s four-minute Flourish with Fireworks? Woven from ciphers based on the initials of Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra plus allusions to Stravinsky’s own Fireworks, Op 4, it is yet more brilliantly rendered here than by Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO (EMI, nla).

Oliver Knussen is – or ought to be – a
Read more national treasure. His idiom has loosened up just a little in recent years, but he still offers plenty to satisfy the obsessive analyst, while presenting a field day to sonic sensualists. Not that he is ever exactly easy listening. There are almost always lots of notes, great flashing skirls of them, and when they aren’t there, as in the Purcell fantasia ‘…upon one note’ that concludes this disc, you may even feel short-changed.

In his original review Michael Oliver had doubts only about the post-Expressionist vocal writing in the Whitman settings. It is this aspect of the modernist inheritance that is most likely to irk non-specialists. Lucy Shelton copes manfully with Knussen’s demands even so, and the orchestral sounds are magical. If you missed this superb collection first time round, you have no excuse now: it has been attractively repackaged and comes with full annotations.

-- David Gutman, Gramophone [4/2004]
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Works on This Recording

1. The Way to Castle Yonder, Op. 21a by Oliver Knussen
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988-1990; England 
2. Flourish with Fireworks, Op. 22 by Oliver Knussen
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988/1993; England 
3. Two Organa, Op. 27 by Oliver Knussen
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; England 
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 
5. Music for a Puppet Court, Op. 11 by Oliver Knussen
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; England 
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 
Language: English 
7. "...upon one note" by Oliver Knussen
Performer:  Christopher Van Kampen (Cello), Paul Silverthorne (Viola), John Constable (Piano),
Michael Collins (Clarinet), Clio Gould (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995; England 

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