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Delius: Appalachia/ Sea Drift (Leon Williams/ Master Chorale of Tampa Bay/ The Florida Orchestra/ Stefan Sanderling) (Naxos: 8572764)

Leona Williams Audio CD
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Product Description

Product Description

Appalachia (a native American word for North America) is a set of variations based on a slave song about the tragedy of the cotton planters 'being sold down the river'. Delius heard the song when teaching the violin in Virginia, but the primary inspiration was his formative experience of the semi-tropical beauty of Florida's Solano Grove where he had managed an orange plantation. In Sea Drift Delius absorbed a further American influence in the nature mysticism of Walt Whitman. The symphonic poem, one of his greatest works, is a song of love and death in which the baritone soloist is both a participant in the drama and offers a commentary upon it.

Since his North American début at the 1989 Tanglewood Summer Music Festival, conductor Stefan Sanderling has forged a successful career for himself in the United States, serving as Music Director of The Florida Orchestra from 2002-2012, and now holds the positions of Conductor Emeritus and artistic advisor of The Florida Orchestra and principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.

Review

'Stefan Sanderling coaxes evocative atmosphere... and he also has the measure of the flow and surge of... Sea Drift, with baritone Leon Williams a clear-toned foil to the choral writing's rich chromaticism.'

--Geoffrey Norris, Daily Telegraph - Sep 29th, 2012

'Conductor Stefan Sanderling and his Florida orchestra have the measure of this music. As do the Tampa Bay Master Chorale, and especially the baritone soloist Leon Williams. He sounds far more idiomatic as the distraught slave in Appalachia than all the previous British soloists on record, and is also highly effective in one of Delius's Wait Whitman settings, Sea Drift.'

--David Mellor, The Mail on Sunday Oct. 2012

This fine orchestra has a superb violinist leader... plus serious class in every department, the brass in particular. The choral singing, too, is exemplary in its firm-toned accuracy: Delius s tricky chromatic demands are sailed through with ease... the firepower and up-front honesty of [Leon Williams s] singing do real justice to a great solo part. 4*/ 3* --Malcolm Hayes, BBC Music Magazine Christmas 2012

Sanderling s interpretation of this imaginative score is sympathetic... The tempi are well chosen and the handling of Delius s poetic orchestration, not least in its richer Straussian garb, is nicely garbed. --Jeremy Dibble, December Gramophone 2012

The Florida Orchestra... is well up to the mark... Appalachia here is beautifully done, with nicely judged rubato and plenty of Delian ebb and flow... The choir is excellent: vigorous and forthright, and sizeable too. --Piers Burton-Page, IRR January 2013

Product Description

Leon Williams, baryton - The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay - The Florida Orchestra - Stefan Sanderling, direction
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