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Birtwistle: The Triumph of Time; Gawain's Journey; Rituel Fragment

Philharmonia Orchestra, Harrison Birtwistle Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 13.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Elgar Howarth
  • Composer: Harrison Birtwistle
  • Audio CD (11 Oct 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: NMC
  • ASIN: B00061X9WY
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,463 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. The Triumph of Time: Crotchet= c.40Philharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 4:270.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. The Triumph of Time: Fig 4, soprano saxPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 4:010.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Triumph of Time: Fig 10, muted hornsPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 2:410.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. The Triumph of Time: Fig 14, senza tempoPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 3:220.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. The Triumph of Time: Fig 19, cor anglais/ flute dutePhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 1:370.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Triumph of Time: Fig 21, central climaxPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 4:260.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Triumph of Time: Fig 31, string choralePhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 4:410.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. The Triumph of Time: Fig 37, senza tempoPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 2:290.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. The Triumph of Time: Fig 39, cor anglais soloPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 2:030.69  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Ritual FragmentLondon Sinfonietta11:35Album Only
Listen11. Gawain's Journey: IntroductionPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 2:220.69  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Gawain's Journey: The Opening of the DoorPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 1:430.69  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Gawain's Journey: The ChallengePhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 2:240.69  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Gawain's Journey: The Court becomes VisiblePhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 2:180.69  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Gawain's Journey: He strikes the blowPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 1:110.69  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Gawain's Journey: LullabyPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 1:500.69  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Gawain's Journey: Vision of the Hunt IPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 1:190.69  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Gawain's Journey: Seduction ScenePhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor0:560.69  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Gawain's Journey: Vision of the Hunt IIPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 2:420.69  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Gawain's Journey: The JourneyPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 3:290.69  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Gawain's Journey: Vision of the Hunt IIIPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 3:090.69  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Gawain's Journey: Morgan goes through into the BlizzardPhilharmonia Orchestra/ Elgar Howarth, conductor 1:140.69  Buy MP3 


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two major orchestral works from 1971 and 1991 6 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD
"The Triumph of Time" (29'38) is one of Harrison Birtwistle's key early works, written in 1971-2. Along with "Verses for Ensembles," it is a site for "...an approach to musical and dramatic time that abandons conventional linear narrative but treats past, present and future as interchangeable or simultaneous" (from the fine liner notes by Andrew Clements). It paved the way for his massive opera "The Mask of Orpheus," as an essential strand in the legend is the passage of time and its irreversibility. Birtwistle first conceived of the "Orpheus" opera in 1970. "Time" is a slow, grinding procession -- it does not dance in the slightest (as does the later "Earth Dances" for orchestra of 1986), and is not the most accessible introduction to the composer's work. It is a vast abstract slab in nine movements, dark and forbidding, with a massive climax in the penultimate eighth movement, but once you come to appreciate Birtwistle, you might, as I, come to hear it as fascinating in its slow-moving changes, similar to the revolving prism of small changes in the late Feldman, but on a more vast and rugged sonic terrain.

This was the first Birtwistle composition to be inspired by Peter Breughel the Elder's painting, but not the last. It depicts Time as a bearded figure in a cart at the head of a procession that includes Death and Fame, crushing the ephemera of human existence under its wheels. Only the cyclical events are impervious -- the tides, the changing seasons, and winds.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two major orchestral works from 1971 and 1991 13 July 2011
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
"The Triumph of Time" (29'38) is one of Harrison Birtwistle's key early works, written in 1971-2. Along with "Verses for Ensembles," it is a site for "...an approach to musical and dramatic time that abandons conventional linear narrative but treats past, present and future as interchangeable or simultaneous" (from the fine liner notes by Andrew Clements). It paved the way for his massive opera "The Mask of Orpheus," as an essential strand in the legend is the passage of time and its irreversibility. Birtwistle first conceived of the "Orpheus" opera in 1970. "Time" is a slow, grinding procession -- it does not dance in the slightest (as does the later "Earth Dances" for orchestra of 1986), and is not the most accessible introduction to the composer's work. It is a vast abstract slab in nine movements, dark and forbidding, with a massive climax in the penultimate eighth movement, but once you come to appreciate Birtwistle, you might, as I, come to hear it as fascinating in its slow-moving changes, similar to the revolving prism of small changes in the late Feldman, but on a more vast and rugged sonic terrain.

This was the first Birtwistle composition to be inspired by Peter Breughel the Elder's painting, but not the last. It depicts Time as a bearded figure in a cart at the head of a procession that includes Death and Fame, crushing the ephemera of human existence under its wheels. Only the cyclical events are impervious -- the tides, the changing seasons, and winds. I have never read anything suggesting that Birtwistle is a Buddhist, but this perspective, which he returns to again and again, is certainly compatible with the core Buddhist doctrine of impermanence, which leads to the insight that grasping is a source of discontent.

This recording of the great Philharmonia Orchestra, led by Elgar Howarth, a close friend of the composer, is from 1993. "Gawain's Journey" (24'37), an orchestral suite from Birtwistle's 1991 opera Gawain, was also recorded at that session. This 12-movement work is more engaging and accessible than "Time," with grand noble gestures that suggest a Birtwistle-Wagner hybrid. The movements have titles from the medieval tale and the opera which make clear the programmatic content -- "He Strikes the Blow," "Seduction Scene," and so on. "Gawain" is Birtwistle's most conventional opera, with a linear narrative and this neo-Wagnerian score. While impressive, it is not one of his best works.

Also included in this 2004 NMC disc, which reissues the two orchestral pieces, originally released on a Collins disc in 1993, is "Ritual Fragment" (11'23), written for and performed by the London Sinfonietta. This is a fine piece written in honor of the Sinfonietta's director, Michael Vyner, upon his death in 1989, while Birtwistle was immersed in writing "Gawain." It was Vyner who commissioned a series of major Birtwistle compositions, including "Verses for Ensembles", "Secret Theatre," "Silbury Air," and "Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum." The organization of the piece is simple and dramatic, with ten soloists from the 15-member ensemble moving in turn to the front of the stage and performing a solo.

I would recommend either of the discs just mentioned as better introductions to those just exploring the composer's works. But this is a fine NMC collection, especially for the critical "Triumph of Time."
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gawain's Journey recommendation 7 Nov 2010
By Joseph Kent Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I really love all of this music but there are annoying track breaks in Gawain's Journey for some bizarre reason. It is clearly a single piece of music that just has these irritating blips of silence. The Triumph of Time doesn't have that problem. It also has multiple tracks and it plays through. I wanted to tell people that you can merge the files to fix it if you want. I only just thought of doing that so decided I'd pass it on. It just requires an audio editor with merge capability. I used Goldwave. Be sure to have a copy of the music before you start fooling around with an editor though.
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