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Delius: Appalachia / The Song Of The High Hills Hybrid SACD, SACD


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Sir Andrew Davis has served as music director and principal conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago since 2000. He was named a vice president of Lyric’s Board of Directors in May 2011. Maestro Davis is conductor laureate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (having previously served as principal conductor), conductor laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (having previously had the longest ... Read more in Amazon's Andrew Davis Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Delius: Appalachia / The Song Of The High Hills + Delius: Piano Concerto/ Paris Nocturne (Idylle Printemps/ Brigg Fair) (Howard Shelley/ Royal Scottish National Orchestra/ Sir Andrew Davis) (Chandos: CHAN 10742) + Delius: Double Concerto/Violin Concerto/ Cello Concerto]
Price For All Three: £44.97

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Product details

  • Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis
  • Composer: F. Delius
  • Audio CD (28 Mar. 2011)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B004Q2TWQG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,964 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Appalachia - Various Performers
2. The Song of the High Hills - Various Performers

Product Description

CD Description

This is a Hybrid SACD

Review

The music of Delius (1862-1934), full of wistful, pre-first world war English exoticism, is edging back into fashion, now some historical perspective has been achieved. He escaped the family wool business in Bradford merely to find industrial inspiration elsewhere: black tobacco-factory workers in Virginia. One of their old slave spirituals is woven into the rhapsodic Appalachia, which has banjo-like strings and a surging brass theme to suggest the great Mississippi river, which Delius probably never saw. The BBC forces and Andrew Davis conjure exactly the rich transcendence Delius would have enjoyed. The Song of the High Hills, suggested by a visit to the mountains of Norway, is performed with equal lustre. --The Observer,27/03/11

Appalachia, inspired by a Negro slave song and by the landscape around the Mississippi, shows Delius to be as much in his element as he was in the clear, mountainous Norwegian terrain that sparked The Song of the High Hills. Both works, in their different ways, conjure up an evocative atmosphere, harnessing a mastery of orchestral and wordless vocal colour that Andrew Davis and his BBC forces translate into musical pictures, rich in texture and poignant in emotion. **** --Daily Telegraph,01/04/11

Davis's dilgent control of the extraordinary material makes for compelling listening.More please,Sir Andrew ! GRAMOPHONE RECCOMENDED --Gramophone,June'11

A fine new recording,each piece complementing the other. **** --Classic fm Magazine,June'11

Both works have a distinguished history on disc but I've heard nothing to beat these glorious new performances. Performance ***** Recording ***** --BBC Music Magazine,June'11

This work poses considerable difficulties for any artists who would perform it,and for any record company that would record it,but with such preperation as the Barbican Hall performance a week before this recording was made.it should be clear that this is no 'cold start' account:it is fully the equal of the live inspired live performance that preceded it and in terms of the gramophone is by far the finest balanced,and therefore even more closely attuned to the composer's score,that has ever been issued. IRR OUTSTANDING --IRR,June'11

Both works have a distinguished history on disc but I've heard nothing to beat these glorious new performances. Performance ***** Recording ***** --BBC Music Magazine,June'11

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By L. Hepplewhite on 16 Jan. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Two of the finest orchestral compositions of the 20th Century, much underplayed and underrated, given a most splendid performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus under Sir Andrew Davis. Those who are not familiar with these works will be much rewarded by getting to know them especially if the background of Delius's life is studied. The recordings are especially fine technically and acoustically. Thoroughly recommended.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Broadway on 26 Sept. 2012
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Superb interpretation of the wonderful music of Frederick Delius. I simply love his ability to move me and take me back to my English childhood.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr. J. Harris on 9 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An extremely enjoyable recording, except for the warbling in the middle. Otherwise an admirable addition to my Delius collection. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Superlative Delius from Andrew Davis. 19 May 2011
By Fountainhead - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Both Appalachia and A Song of the High Hills are among Delius' greatest choral/orchestral works. Neither has been over recorded (has ANY Delius ever been over recorded?) so this new disc is quite welcome. Although I generally admire Andrew Davis' conducting (particularly of Elgar), his earlier recordings of Delius seemed rather lackluster to me. Here, however, he shows himself perfectly attuned to Delius' unique style, and completely understands the composer's harmonic idiom, with it's particular demands of pacing, shaping, and flexibility. Both the playing and singing are superlative, and the recorded sound, while falling just short of Chandos' highest standards, is nonetheless very good.

As for comparisons, Beecham's mono Appalachia remains a classic. Barbirolli's account is somewhat more warmly expressive than Davis, and he brings out the sense of heartbreak at the conclusion more vividly, but tempos tend to drag and ensemble is often slack. Although I like Mackerras' Delius as a whole, something in his reading of Appalachia doesn't quite click for me; the spark just isn't there. My memory of Hickox's reading is that it's very fine but marred by weird balances in the recording. As for A Song of the High Hills, Fenby's account remains the touchstone for me; an absolutely transcendent account of a transcendent work. I've never found Beecham convincing in this piece, or in any other of Delius' more visionary scores, and Groves is embarrassingly pedestrian. Mackerras is superlative, however, and I would place Davis on a par with him; I would have liked a slightly longer pause following the initial entrance of the chorus, and the choral climax seems a bit underpowered, but in all other respects this is a superior reading.

As both of these works are ones which Hickox never recorded for Chandos, I would assume that Davis is being used here to fill in some gaps. It's a shame if that's all there is to it, for I'd love to hear more Delius from Davis and these forces. Chandos saw fit to record a second Bax cycle with Vernon Handley, and it was more than worth the effort. So how about a new recording of A Mass of Life? Just a thought.

Warmly recommended.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Southern comfort 10 May 2011
By Sean William Menzies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Delius is back with a vengeance. This disc is extraordinarily good. I don't have SACD so I cannot review the sonics on that kind of a soundscape but for normal stereo it is lush and gorgeous, the listener is enveloped in the music. Delius' textures of the Mississippi, the mists at dawn, the dust in the trees, the hard work on land and the final slave chorus really brings tears to the eyes. The Song of the High Hills is a still summer evening in Norway that just glows from end to end.

A solid disc, beautifully produced and packaged. Delius wrote music for people here on earth; what a relief after decades of the domestic squabbles of gods and goddesses!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Welcome Issue 2 Aug. 2011
By Peter Zubulake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was quite excited (an understatement) when I saw this disc had come out. Both Appalachia and The Song of the High Hills are among Delius's most accomplished scores. The performances here I would say are equal to the best available. I listened to this on my SACD player as well as my regular cd player. In both cases, the sound quality lives up to the high standard Chandos maintains in most all their releases. Whether you own no other recordings of these works or all previous versions, I believe you will want to investigate this altogether superlative issue.
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