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Lilburn: Allegro, Landfall, Diversions / Hillary, New Zealand


Release Date: 02/21/1995 
Label:  Koch International Classics Catalog #: 7260   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Douglas LilburnAnthony WatsonLarry Pruden
Performer:  Edmund Hillary
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It is easy to imagine what this solid, consonant string music from New Zealand sounds like. Just say to yourself “English pastoral school.“

The grand old man of New Zealand music, eighty-year-old Douglas Lilburn, wrote his scores in the 1940s. Diversions was selected out of hundreds of submissions by Australian and New Zealand composers in response to a call for a work to be played during the Boyd Neel String Orchestra's tour of the region in 1947. This good-natured, five-movement suite has become, as the liner notes claim, a work “at the heart of the New Zealand chamber-music repertoire.“ The third movement makes humorous allusions to the William Tell Overture, and the spirited final movement is reminiscent of Larsson's and
Read more Wirén's best string works. Lilburn's Landfall in Unknown Seas commemorates the 300th anniversary of Abel Tasman's 1642 discovery of New Zealand—“where lofty mountains crowd down on a dramatic coast.“ In 1941 the New Zealand poet Allen Curnow wrote a poem for the tercentenary and showed it to Lilburn, who the next year completed a string work broken in three places for the reading of each of the three “movements“ of Curnow's poem; the music is noble, respectful, and evocative. No less an appropriate celebrity than Sir Edmund Hillary, the great New Zealand-born conqueror of Mt. Everest, is the (rather passionless) narrator. The Allegro for Strings, written in the same year, is inspired by the landscapes of New Zealand's South Island and “their overtones of vibrant air.“

Anthony Watson (1933-73) wrote his Introduction and Allegro for Strings in 1960, and it is a contrapuntal, engagingly dissonant short work. It's quite good, and New Zealand music circles are right to mourn his early death.

The first version of Soliloquy for Strings by Larry Prud?n (1925-82) was completed when the composer was only nineteen. He revised it twice, completing it in 1952. The music is sincere, even dreamy, though its “considerable depth of feeling“ (liner notes) is rather characterless and unaf-fecting.

The conductorless New Zealand group is more than adequate. Koch's sound is warm and natural. Though not anything like an essential CD, this disc is winning in ways that any good pastoral collection is—by being a haven of relaxed tone painting.

-- Stephen Ellis, FANFARE [7/1995] Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Diversions for Strings by Douglas Lilburn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; New Zealand 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Symphony House, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 16 Minutes 8 Secs. 
2.
Landfall in Unknown Seas by Douglas Lilburn
Performer:  Edmund Hillary (Spoken Vocals)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; New Zealand 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Symphony House, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 19 Minutes 22 Secs. 
3.
Allegro for Strings by Douglas Lilburn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; New Zealand 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Symphony House, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 10 Minutes 2 Secs. 
4.
Introduction and Allegro for Strings by Anthony Watson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; New Zealand 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Symphony House, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 6 Minutes 30 Secs. 
5.
Soliloquy for Strings by Larry Pruden
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; New Zealand 
Date of Recording: 10/1993 
Venue:  Symphony House, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 6 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Rare Find December 5, 2013 By Perry C. (Vashon, WA) See All My Reviews "This is a very well recorded performance of rare works for string orchestra by Lilburn and New Zealand compatriots. Although written mid-20th century, the music is very much late romantic tonal. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
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