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Arthur Sullivan : The Martyr of Antioch [Cast Recording]

Catherine Foster , Arthur Sullivan , Richard Balcombe , Northern Chamber Orchestra , Sullivan Chorus Audio CD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Performer: Sullivan Chorus
  • Orchestra: Northern Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Richard Balcombe
  • Composer: Arthur Sullivan
  • Audio CD (27 Mar 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Symposium
  • ASIN: B0000560XO
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 400,458 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Intro
2. Chor Of Sunworshippers
3. The Love-Sick Damsel
4. Break Off The Hymn
5. Where Is The Crown...Come, Margarita, Come
6. Duet, Olybius And Callias
7. Long Live The Christians' Scourge
8. Brother Thou Art Gone Before Us
9. Brother, Thou Art Slumberest
10. Yet Once Again...For Thou Did'st Die For Me
11. Duet, Margarita And Callias
12. Evening Song Of The Maidens
13. Sweet Margarita, Give Me Thine Hand
14. Duet, Margarita And Olybius
15. Chor Of Heathen Maidens And Christians
16. The Maids Lift Up Their Hymn Around The Temple
17. Great Is Olybius And His Mercy Great!
18. Have Mercy Unrelenting Heav'n
19. The Hour Of Mercy's O'er, Or Sacrifice, Or Die

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surely you mean 'Shoot the Chorus'? 26 April 2004
By Bass 1
Verified Purchase
Wilus is a little hard on the chorus. Before I say anything further I amfirmly of the opinion that this work deserves a professional recording. This was very much a scratch chorus, brought together who knows how, torehearse the piece for a week. Some members of the chorus were seriouslynot up to the task, but there was no audition (there should have been).The balance was poor.
The recording was of a live performance with an audience, with only one ortwo re-takes. There were only two microphones, placed in front of thewhole ensemble, hence the poor balance between orchestra and choir.
Nevertheless, a rare performance was given and the CD stands as a recordof that. I enjoyed being part of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't shoot the chorus... 14 Nov 2003
By Wilus
Sullivan's "Martyr of Antioch" was composed for the Leeds Festival in 1880 to a libretto adapted from Milman's poem by W.S. Gilbert. Perhaps not surprisingly, the piece has a somewhat operatic quality: the story is of a pagan priestess betrothed to the Roman governor of Antioch who converts to Christianity and is martyred for her faith, and after being vouchsafed a vision of Christ at the stake enters heaven on a top C to the general wonderment of all. It's a colourful and entertaining piece and, though less ambitious, arguably more successful than the better-known "Golden Legend". Gilbert's libretto is admirably crafted to play to Sullivan's strengths as a composer of picturesque and lyrical music and the dramatic passages, where the composer is less assured, are wisely kept brief. This recording is of a live performance at the 2000 Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton but no apology needs to be made for the sound. Conductor Richard Balcombe keeps things moving, maybe too much so in the final scene, but on the whole with a good feel for the character of the music; the soloists are generally fine (Gillian Knight stands out as a Truly Fruity contralto of the type that Sullivan's music demands but rarely gets) and the orchestra brings out the vigour and richness of Sullivan's scoring. It is a shame, therefore, that the chorus (a scratch group) is utterly inadequate -- when the orchestra gets going you can't hear them, and when you can hear them you wish you couldn't. What a pity Ronald Corp and his London Chorus didn't get to this piece first -- until they do, this can be recommended with reservations to Sullivanophiles and devotees of the byways of English choral music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lesser-known Sullivan 10 Dec 2010
By Phyllis A. Karr - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I may have overpaid for this, but found it well worth it. Enjoyed this one as much as I did Sullivan's "Ivanhoe," and a great deal more than his "Golden Legend."
In seeking the reason I like "Martyr" and "Ivanhoe" so much better at first and second hearings than "Golden Legend," I think maybe it has to do with the strength of the libretto.
The greatest problem with this CD of "Martyr of Antioch" is that it does not include a copy of the libretto -- which, fortunately, is available online. As far as individual musical performances are concerned: they satisfied me, but I admit my musical ear is not of the highest caliber; while I can hear the difference between Dawn Upshaw and Barbara Streisand, I probably cannot hear the difference between Dawn Upshaw and whatever singer the Met currently has singing the roles in question.
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