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Lennox Berkeley: Ruth / Hickox, Rigby, Et Al

Release Date: 05/24/2005 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10301   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Yvonne KennyRoderick WilliamsRichard HickoxJean Rigby,   ... 
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joyful Company of SingersCity of London Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Lennox Berkeley's Ruth, along with Britten's Gloriana and Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage, make up the first postwar peak of English opera. In scale, Ruth is a chamber opera set in three scenes for five soloists, small mixed choir, and a reduced orchestra of two flutes, horn, percussion, piano, and 11 strings. In effect, Ruth is an intimate opera depicting the story of Ruth and Boaz from the Old Testament Book of Ruth. In this recording, Ruth is exquisitely wrought, marvelously beautiful, intensely lyrical, and deeply moving. Mezzo-soprano Jean Rigby is completely convincing in the title role, a young woman who in loyalty to her mother-in-law moves to a foreign country where she is treated with suspicion and disdain as an outsider. Tenor Read more Mark Tucker is wholly persuasive in the role of Boaz, a rich widower who comes to love the lonely Ruth. Soprano Yvonne Kenny is utterly compelling as Naomi, a woman who has lost her husband and her sons and who returns to her homeland bereft of everything except the loyalty of Ruth. Conductor Richard Hickox leads the Joyful Company of Singers and the City of London Sinfonia in a seamless blend of drama and lyricism, of action and reflection, of fear and love. Chandos' sound in this the premiere recording of the work is nearly transparent. Anyone who loves postwar English opera will want to hear this disc.

-- James Leonard, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Ruth by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Yvonne Kenny (Soprano), Roderick Williams (Baritone), Richard Hickox (),
Jean Rigby (Mezzo Soprano), Mark Tucker (Tenor), Claire Rutter (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joyful Company of Singers,  City of London Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 09/2003 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 78 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 

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