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> Runnicles / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra "Britannia", SACD

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post 1/07/2009, 20:35
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Runnicles / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra "Britannia", SACD

Runnicles / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra "Britannia" , SACD

Genre: Classical – Orchestra

Гибридный SACD 5.1

Donald Runnicles
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Sir Edward Elgar
  1. "Pomp and Circumstance" March No. 4 [4:33]

    Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
  2. An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise [13:15]
    Scott Long, bagpiper

    Mark-Anthony Turnage
  3. Three Screaming Popes [15:54]

    James MacMillan
  4. Britannia [12:30]

    Benjamin Britten
    Sinfonia da Requiem
  5. Lacrymosa [8:09]
  6. Dies irae [4:58]
  7. Requiem aeternam [6:05]

    Sir Edward Elgar
  8. "Pomp and Circumstance" March No. 1 [5:40]

    Total playing time [71:48]

Recorded in Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia, April 28 and 30, 2007
Recording Producer: Elaine Martone, assisted by Fyodor Cherniavsky, Laura Jackson
Recording Engineer: Michael Bishop
Engineering Assistants : Bill McKinney, Todd Brown
CD Layer Mastered by Paul Blakemore
Editors: Paul Blakemore, Thomas C. Moore, assisted by Benjamin Jacobs
SACD Production Supervisor: Erica Brenner

TELARC (SACD-60677, 0 89408 06776 1), 2007
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post 1/07/2009, 20:48
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Sir Edward Elgar: "Pomp and Circumstance" Military Marches, No. 1 and No. 4

The beginning of the twentieth century was a heady time for the British. Queen Victoria's long reign had put the capstone on the far-flung empire. In science, literature, and a host of other pursuits, Britons had distinguished themselves by making lasting contributions. The national mood was one of confident optimism. Having reserved their greatest popularity for foreign composers for nearly two centuries (Handel, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Dvořák), the people were ready to embrace a homegrown British composer with whom they could identify and of whose music they could be proud.

Edward Elgar fit that description exactly. His pious oratorios, crowned by The Dream of Gerontius in 1900, were performed throughout the land and, like all his works, were filled with grand gestures and noble melodies. The skillful and poetic "Enigma" Variations (1899) were instantly acclaimed, and his specifically patriotic works, including the Coronation Ode of 1902, were a source of national pride. He was recognized with a knighthood in 1904. Twenty years later he was appointed Master of the King's Music.

The five solemn "Pomp and Circumstance" marches are Elgar's best-known compositions, written in recognition of the British love for formal ceremonies and colorful ritual. March No. 1, composed in 1901, is the most famous of the series, known to Americans for its frequent use at graduation ceremonies. Elgar later allowed it to be arranged as a nationalistic anthem for mezzo-soprano, chorus, and orchestra, with Arthur C. Benson's words, as "Land of Hope and Glory." Stirring and sturdy, March No. 4 was first performed at a Promenade Concert in Queen's Hall in 1907. Three years later, he arranged it as "The King's Way," a song with piano accompaniment to words by his wife, Lady Caroline Alice Elgar.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise

Growing up in a town outside Manchester, England, Peter Maxwell Davies followed his early curiosity about music to studies in Renaissance polyphony and Indian music. He has benefited throughout his career from alliances with performing ensembles, notably the avant-garde music-theater ensemble the Fires of London, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic. Composing in virtually all classical genres - from full-scale operas to works for a single instrument - he displays an unerring theatrical sensibility and a winning way of communicating with his audience. The British establishment has recognized his industry and prominence with a knighthood in 1987 and appointment as Master of the Queen's Music in 2004.

Working with children has been an ongoing feature of Davies's career, from his early teaching at the Cirencester Grammar School through his many compositions intended for child or amateur performers. Though his works can be very serious in nature, he also has written a number of pieces that can only be described as relaxed or even humorous.

In the 1970s he discovered the Orkney Islands, off the northern coast of Scotland. Responding to their serenity and beauty, he made his home on the island of Hoy and began a series of Orkney-inspired compositions, many using the words of "the bard of Orkney," the poet, novelist, and dramatist George Mackay Brown (1921-1996). Davies's lovingly descriptive piece An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise, which he once described as a "picture postcard," was composed there in 1984. He has said that he strove to reflect his pleasure at receiving the commission for this work by recalling the wedding reception of a friend and neighbor on Hoy. It was, he explains, "the first wedding for very, very many years in that part of Orkney and so was a huge and very important local event." He writes about this music:
At the outset, we hear the guests arriving, out of extremely bad weather, at the hall. This is followed by the processional, where the guests are solemnly received by the bride and bridegroom, and presented with their first glass of whisky. The band tunes up, and we get on with the dancing proper. This becomes ever wilder, as all concerned feel the results of the whisky, until the lead fiddle can hardly hold the band together any more. We leave the hall into the cold night, with echoes of the processional music in our ears, and as we walk home across the island, the sun rises, over Caithness, to a glorious dawn. The sun is represented by the highland bagpipes, in full traditional splendour.

The composer notes that the highland bagpipes are not an indigenous Orkney instrument, but since the sun is seen rising over the Scottish mainland, he considers their use "just about forgivable." He concludes that their combination with the orchestra in the "bright" key of A "captures everything of the splendour of that dawn, which meant whole new hope for that part of the island and symbolized so much about a rebirth and the future for that place."

Mark-Anthony Turnage: Three Screaming Popes, after Francis Bacon

Born in 1960 in the East End section of London, sometimes described as that city's "wrong side of the tracks," Mark-Anthony Turnage grew up amid a variety of musical styles. This, of course, is true of many if not most of the musicians of his generation - composers such as Adams, Kernis, and Rouse acknowledge the influence on their music of early exposure to rock, jazz, blues, or other popular genres. Turnage may, however, be the first widely performed composer to bring a punk sensibility into classical music, deploying his in-your-face assaults with exhilarating energy, but contrasting them with music of gripping tenderness and deep emotion.

Despite his early studies at the Royal College of Music under Oliver Knussen and John Lambert, and with Gunther Schuller at Tanglewood, Turnage seemed destined for major involvement in the worlds of jazz and soul as much as classical music. It was the acceptance of his opera Greek, a Cockney version of the tragedy of Oedipus, at the 1988 Munich Biennale and his time as composer in association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 1989 to 1993 that steered him toward concentrating on classical composition. Working for an extended time with Simon Rattle and the CBSO allowed him to hone his orchestral writing and learn to shape his works for maximum impact.

Turnage has since served as associate composer of the BBC Symphony, composer in association with the English National Opera, composer in residence with the London Philharmonic, and research fellow in composition at the Royal College of Music. He is currently one of the Chicago Symphony's two Mead Composers in Residence. His honors include the Guinness Prize for his first orchestral work, Night Dances, an Olivier Award for his second opera, The Silver Tassie, and retrospective celebrations of his music in London and Berlin. He has composed on commissions from Ensemble Modern, the Berlin Philharmonic, trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and others.

Three Screaming Popes was the first work Turnage wrote for Simon Rattle and his Birmingham orchestra. Impressed by a set of paintings by the iconoclastic British artist Francis Bacon (1909-1992), in which a classic portrait of a seventeenth-century pope was deformed into images of the pontiff shouting or screaming, the composer took advantage of a lull between the first Munich performances of his opera Greek and a production at the Edinburgh Festival three months later to begin this single-movement work of fifteen minutes' length for a large orchestra. Since its 1989 Birmingham premiere, it has had many performances in Britain, across Europe, and throughout America. The composer has this to say about the work:
The piece began as a rush of adrenaline from Greek, and it is in some ways a continuum - like the opera, it is exuberant and brash.

I'd had the title for some years. In 1985 I went to see a stunning exhibition of Francis Bacon's paintings at the Tate Gallery. I was overwhelmed, in the best way. I was particularly taken with the three Pope paintings, which, although they were not a set, were hung side by side at the Tate. These paintings are based on Pope Innocent X by Velasquez, and my initial idea was to write a piece which distorted a set of Spanish dances as Bacon had distorted and restated the Velasquez. In the process of writing the piece, the dances (like a first layer of paint, or an outline) became so submerged in the other textures of the piece that only a faint trace is visible -just a hint of a tango here and there. What I hope comes across is the coloristic intensity and emotional immediacy of the paintings.

Selected from a number of "Pope" paintings by Bacon, the three in the Tate exhibition were Pope I (1951), Pope II (1951), and Study after Velásquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953).

James MacMillan: Britannia

Born in Kilwinning, Scotland, James MacMillan has become a leading Scottish musician and one of the United Kingdom's most successful composers and conductors. Educated at Edinburgh and Durham Universities, he taught at Manchester University before returning to Scotland and taking up residence in Glasgow. He served as affiliate composer of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and for ten years as artistic director of the Philharmonia Orchestra's contemporary concerts series, Music of Today. In 2000 he became Composer-Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic.

Early in his career, MacMillan went through a period of what might be described as academic modernism, as he concentrated on serial practices and often used aleatoric (chance-derived) methods of composition. A strong influence was the music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, his fellow composer and educator, with whom he continues to maintain close ties. Beginning with Litanies of Iron and Stone in 1987, his style underwent a transformation, becoming more direct and widely accessible. His music continues to be shaped by social concerns and devout Roman Catholicism, as well as his love for the traditions and music of his native Scotland. More than thirty of his works have been recorded.

Commissioned by British Telecommunications on behalf of the Association of British Orchestras, MacMillan's concert overture Britannia is described by its composer as "a celebration of a major force in our musical life, the British orchestra." It has been compared by at least one commentator with the music of Charles Ives, because of its juxtaposition of allusions to Celtic and English folk music, patriotic tunes such as Thomas Arne's "God Save the Queen," and peaceful, almost oriental interludes. Quotations from Elgar's overture Cockaigne (a composition, incidentally, that was also dedicated to members of British orchestras) pop up frequently enough to be a unifying force. Beginning with a boisterous fanfare and containing interruptions by auto horn, klaxon, police whistle, whip, and even a duck call, the music progresses through frequent changes of mood and tempo to an ending surprisingly at odds with the confidence and nobility of Elgar's work. For the premiere in 1994, the composer supplied this description:
Britannia is a ten-minute orchestral fantasy based on "patriotic themes." There is no programme or story as such, but the tapestry of popular melodies and resonant allusions, given their new and unfamiliar contexts, may provoke some surprising scenarios in the mind of the listener, particularly at a time when petty chauvinism threatens to rear up once again throughout Europe. The piece grows out of a short sketch written earlier this year, Mémoire Impériale, which is based on a march tune by General Reid, an 18th-century British army officer who established the music department at Edinburgh University. This theme and the "imperial" themes of Elgar and Arne are thrown into a volatile concoction with other materials - an Irish reel (which becomes a jig), a Cockney drinking song, other march tunes, and a hazy Celtic modality...

Britannia is dedicated to Libby MacNamara of the Association of British Orchestras.

Benjamin Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20

In 1939 Britten and tenor Peter Pears followed their friend, poet W. H. Auden, to America in hopes of avoiding the guns of impending war and of finding a public less hostile to new voices in literature and music. Britten and Pears lived in various places in Canada and New York State, while endeavoring to establish American careers. A couple of months after their arrival, Britten wrote to his sister, "I might as well confess it now, that I am seriously considering staying over here permanently.... I am certain that North America is the place of the future ... there is terrific energy and vitality in the place."

Eventually the picture began to look less rosy. With the outbreak of war, homesickness overcame them, and they returned to England in 1942. Among the works Britten completed during the American sojourn are An American Overture, the overture Canadian Carnival, the song cycle Les Illuminations, the left-hand piano concerto entitled Diversions, the children's opera Paul Bunyan (with libretto by Auden), and the Sinfonia da Requiem.

Britten's antiwar position was well known and of long standing, and so his friends thought it odd that he would accept a commission in 1939 from the government of Japan (whose invading armies had already taken over Beijing and several other Chinese cities) for a short symphony or symphonic poem honoring the 2,600th anniversary of the ruling Japanese dynasty. He looked at it as an opportunity to earn a commission while expressing pacifist sentiments. Perhaps he thought the Japanese would not understand what the music was implying. He told a reporter that the Sinfonia da Requiem would be dedicated to the memory of his parents and would concern "my own anti-war conviction." He explained, "I don't believe you can express social or political or economic theories in music, but by coupling new music with well known musical phrases, I think it's possible to get over certain ideas."

The commissioning committee was of course displeased with this strange work, naively critical of their country's actions and linked by its name and the titles of all three of its movements to Roman Catholic liturgy. Japan paid the agreed fee but never performed the Sinfonia da Requiem. The major works at the anniversary concert were Richard Strauss's Festmusik ("Festival Music") and Jacques Ibert's Festive Overture. Britten, who thereby was probably saved a good deal of public and official disfavor when Japan later went to war on the side of Germany, was philosophical about the cancellation: "After all, I have had the money and spent it.... Anyhow, the publicity of having a work rejected by the Japanese Consulate for being Christian is a wow." A premiere for the piece was soon arranged for Carnegie Hall.

The Sinfonia da Requiem, a work so "personal & intimate" that Britten felt embarrassment when it was performed, is among his earliest and most successful compositions on a symphonic scale, potent evidence of his skill at integrating private convictions and public musical expression.

The opening movement is entitled "Lacrymosa," named for the portion of the Requiem text whose words mean, "That day of weeping, on which guilty man shall arise from the ashes to be judged!" Pounding drums and writhing string melodies place us immediately within the hellish battlescape familiar from Britten's later War Requiem . Combining ominous menace with dread and sorrow, the music builds to a nightmarish climax that leads without pause to the next movement.

"Dies irae" is a symphonic scherzo whose name reminds us of the Requiem text, "Day of wrath, that day the world shall dissolve into ashes." The music is to be interpreted, according to biographer and musicologist Donald Mitchell, as "Britten's perception of the 'Dance of Death' which was overtaking Europe and swallowing up the civilization he prized." Some of the wind interjections suggest Morse code, and running trumpet figures hint at the out-of-control nature of events once the frenzy of war takes over.

With the finale, "Requiem aeternam," thoughts of "Eternal rest" and peace at last find expression. In the wake of the fury and agitation of the preceding movements, the music takes on a sort of benumbed calm. Building and receding waves of sonority prefigure the luminous nature-painting of Britten's opera Peter Grimes, culminating in a radiant climax and a slow, elegiac diminishment to the end.

Nick Jones

Конечно, можно бурчать на Теларк до известных событий на нем, но надо отдать им должное, оркестр представить они могут. Да еще, как могу. Передо мной оркестр в более, чем сотню исполнителей, во всю ширь. Диск знакомит с четырьмя поколениями британских композиторов, появившихся после более, чем векового застоя. Конечно же, это не все имена. Открывает ряд сэр Эдуард (Уильям) Элгар (1857-1634), именно с ним связывают возрождение британской музыки. Потом, ну совсем британский, Бенджамин Бриттен (1913-1976). Далее наши современники: Питер Максвелл Дейвис (р.1934) и совсем молодые Джеймс Мак-Миллан (р.1959) и Марк-Энтони Тёрнейдж (р.1960). Совершенно разные стили, сложившиеся за последний век. Немного эти произведения представлены в скромном буклете. Хотя и немного, но более привязано к творческой обстановке, чем в Истории зарубежной музыке о Бриттене:
Кульминацией названной образно-тематической линии в первом периоде творчества стала Sinfonia da Requiem (1940) памяти родителей композитора — единственная у Бриттена симфония в традиционном смысле. Каждая из трех ее частей заимствует из заупокойной католической мессы название, которое является как бы программой, предуказывающей образный строй и «сюжет»: от плача и траурного шествия «Lacrymosa» через пляску смерти «Dies irae» к светлой печали и глубокой скорби «Requiem aeternam». Медленная первая часть воспринимается как пролог к быстрой второй (скерцо), на которую падает драматургический акцент. Краткий финал можно уподобить эпилогу. Заменю стремление к монотематическому принципу развития (темы крайних частей родственны, ритмические импульсы, содержащиеся в первой части, становятся движущей силой скерцо), что характерно для масштабных сочинений композитора, воплощающих глубокий философский замысел. Sinfonia da Requiem близка Третьей, Литургической, Онеггера, созданной пятилетием позднее. Сила и экспрессия оркестрового письма роднит ее с симфонизмом Малера и Шостаковича. Она принадлежит к симфоническим летописям военных лет, это одна из «военных» симфоний, созданных    композиторами-гуманистами.

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