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  • Country Gardens: Frederick Fennell conducts Grainger & Coates
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Country Gardens: Frederick Fennell conducts Grainger & Coates Import

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Eastman-Rochester Pops Orchestra, London Pops Orchestra
  • Conductor: Frederick Fennell
  • Composer: Percy Grainger, Eric Coates
  • Audio CD (11 May 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Mercury Living Presence
  • ASIN: B0000057M2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 176,734 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. R. M. Bailes on 13 Sept. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This re-mastering is another from Mercury's 'Living Presence' series, the Grainger items having been recorded over 50 years ago on analogue tapes. It is still my favourite as far as the composer's orchestral music is concerned. All the popular pieces are there, including Country Gardens, Shepherd's Hey, Mock Morris, Handel in the Strand and, of course, the Londonderry Air. The Eastman-Rochester 'Pops' Orchestra plays in a warm and homely manner. There are some good solos lines, too, including some attractive piano-playing by Robert Spillman. In addition, the percussion department is well represented with numerous rare and bizarre sound sources which the composer loved!

As the Grainger items last just under 45 minutes, the CD concludes with a re-issue of Eric Coates' 'The Three Elizabeths' Suite, with Fennell conducting the London Pops Orchestra. My preference is for the Grainger selections, but the whole is just the ticket if you're looking for high-quality easy-listening material.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Music from the Soil 29 Mar. 2000
By Stephen Maxam - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Grainger was one of the group of British composers at the turn of the century who were fascinated by the oral tradition folk songs which were starting to disappear from the earth. Holst, Vaughan-Williams, Delius, Butterworth, all wrote distillations of this wonderful music. Grainger even recorded it. This recording does have a few oddities about it. Perhaps Fennell could be said to not have "been in touch with his feminine side", so slower, lyrical pieces may not his forte, but in some cases they can have a hypnotic quality. The County Derry certainly does have sentiment. His performances are marked with exhilarating virility, and he has a strong passion which maybe had a chance to show itself better with the wind ensemble recordings, but this one still has the Fennell energy and love. Also, he may have considered a symphony orchestra to be a wind ensemble surrounded by strings, but I forgive him it because he so lovingly "dished up"* a fine collection of Grainger for us, and anyway, Grainger may have shared the view as well. Grainger didn't give us a lot of time to see and feel the places and perceptions in any of his short pieces, but if you catch them, they are certainly there, and Fennell I think caught them and knew them as well. Molly on the Shore has these brief, mystical moments. Grainger is so worth pursuing, this recording is a must, and so are the other Fennell/Grainger recordings. I really don't think anyone has sensed the poignant beauties in Grainger's little jewels as well as Fennell. *Favorite Grainger phrase, e.g., "Molly on the Shore, Dished Up For Piano"
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Fennell's Grainger & Coates 31 Dec. 2003
By Robert E. Nylund - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Famed American band conductor Frederick Fennell turned to British music in this highly enjoyable compilation of music by Percy Grainger and Eric Coates, who both lived during the first half of the twentieth century.

Grainger (1882-1961), who was actually born in Australia and later became an American citizen, authorized and approved the recordings of some of his more popular compositions and arrangements. Like Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly, Grainger collected folk music and some of those pieces are represented on this CD. One of the most familiar tunes is "Irish Tune from County Derry," which is better known as the melody for "Danny Boy." It is given a particularly sensitive, lovely, and lyrical performance by the Eastman Rochester "Pops" Orchestra under Fennell.

The works are generally light and lively, expertly played by the musicians of the Eastman School of Music, where these recordings were made in 1959. The sound is typically top-notch, taken from the original triple track stereophonic tapes that were part of Mercury's "Living Presence" series.

Some of these pieces were originally written for piano. Grainger himself was a very capable pianist, as can be heard in some of the Columbia acoustical recordings he made in 1922. The orchestrations are generally rich and colorful.

"The Immovable Do" was inspired by a stuck note on a small organ. The "Do" is actually "doe," as in "do-re-mi." It is highly original and very charming.

All of the works have special, endearing qualities and are often very entertaining. In a way, this is classical music for people who say they don't like classical music; for those who do like classical music, this is a pleasant change-of-pace.

With the London "Pops" Orchestra, Fennell later recorded a three-movement suite by Eric Coates (1886-1957), who is best known for his light classical works, notably the "London Suite" and the "London Again Suite," works that Coates himself recorded for English Columbia (which usually utilized EMI engineers in London).

"The Three Elizabeths" pays tribute to three members of British royalty. "Halcyon Days" salutes Queen Elizabeth I; "Springtime in Angus" honors Elizabeth, the Queen Mother; and "Youth of Britain" honors Princess Elizabeth, who became Queen Elizabeth II. Typically, Coates music has great charm and memorable melodies. The performance here is quite delightful.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great composer, great conductor, great orchestra. 4 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Children's March is fantastic, the clip doesn't do it justice. A great piece to listen to, especially with this fine orchestra and conductor, it's even more fun to play.
Rustic, Stirring and Decidedly British 20 Jan. 2013
By J. R. Trtek - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a classic album from the Mercury Living Presence series, translated from the realm of vinyl to that of compact disc, and it's nice to know that this release will continue to live on in that form. Frederick Fennell leads the Eastman-Rochester Pops orchestra through eleven Grainger tunes, most of them standards such as Country Gardens, Shepherd's Hey, Mock Morris, Molly on the Shore and of course the Irish Tune from County Derry. The performance reek of band rather than orchestra and bluff exuberance rather than restrain, all of which are good things. Though born in Australia and a resident of the U.S. for almost the last 50 years of his life, the music here is indelibly British. The latter part of the album is devoted to Eric Coates' The Three Elizabeths Suite, which attempts to evoke the spirit of Britain by referencing Elizabeth I, Elizabeth II before her assumption of the throne, and her mother Elizabeth of Glamis. It's pretty much in the vein of British Light Music, which should be expected given the identity of the composer. here Fennell leads the London Pops Orchestra in a performance that is a bit more concert hall than bandstand in flavor, but which still retains a lot of boisterous enthusiasm. Though more than a half century old, these recordings still sound fresh and alive, and they provide a bracing tonic. Recommended.
Love this product 15 Aug. 2013
By doctork - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard this music before. Then I sold my two copies. Only one should have been sold. So I now have another and enjoy listening to English music in the country and gardens immensely. Delightful CD
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