Elgar: Falstaff, Orchestral Songs (SACD)

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BBC Philharmonic, Sir Andrew Davis

Roderick Williams (baritone)

BBC Philharmonic,
Sir Andrew Davis

Sir Andrew Davis takes his multi-award-winning Elgar discography to the next level with breathtaking interpretations of Falstaff, Elgar’s most accomplished and characteristic work, and several orchestral songs, with exemplary support from the BBC Philharmonic, all recorded in surround-sound.

Owing to its technical challenges and more complex harmonic language, the composer always had a high opinion of Falstaff, saying that he had enjoyed writing it ‘more than any other music I have ever composed and perhaps for that reason it may prove to be among my best efforts’. His earlier music for Grania and Diarmid pays tribute to the Irish legend of Diarmuid and Gráinne; the Funeral March is probably Elgar’s noblest creation, and echoes the popular Pomp and Circumstance Marches.

The various less well-known songs, given heroic interpretations by the baritone Roderick Williams OBE, span the multiple facets of Elgar’s style, from the stern and dramatic impressions of Op. 60 to the satirical and impish jollity of ‘Kindly do not SMOKE’.

Recorded: 22 January 2017
Recording Venue: MediaCityUK, Salford, Manchester

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Elgar: Falstaff - Symphonic Study in C minor, Op. 68 36:00

  1. I. Falstaff & Prince Henry 3:09
  2. IIa. Eastcheap 2:54
  3. IIb. Gadshill - The Boar's Head - Revelry & Sleep. Allegro molto 9:21
  4. IIc. Revelry & Sleep. Molto tranquillo 1:14
  5. IId. Dream Interlude 2:36
  6. IIIa. Falstaff's March 2:58
  7. IIIb. The Return Through Gloucestershire 1:27
  8. IIIc. Interlude. Gloucestershire, Shallow's Orchard 1:34
  9. IIId. The New King - The Hurried Ride to London 1:06
  10. IVa. King Henry V's Progress 3:29
  11. IVb. The Repudiation of Falstaff, and His Death 6:12

    Elgar: Song Cycle, Op. 59 6:35
  12. No. 3, O Soft Was the Song 1:54
  13. No. 5, Was It Some Golden Star? 2:13
  14. No. 6, Twilight 2:28

    Elgar: 2 Songs, Op. 60 (Version for Voice & Orchestra) 6:44
  15. No. 1, The Torch 2:39
  16. No. 2, The River 4:05

    Elgar: Grania & Diarmid, Op. 42 10:19
  17. I. Moderato 3:22
  18. II. Funeral March 6:57

  19. Elgar: The Wind at Dawn (version for voice and orchestra) 3:17

  20. Elgar: Pipes of Pan (version for voice and orchestra) 3:52

  21. Elgar: Pleading, Op. 48 (version for voice and orchestra) 2:27

  22. Elgar: The King's Way (version for voice and orchestra) 4:09

  23. Elgar: Smoking Cantata 0:49

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