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Howard Blake: Violin Concerto "The Leeds"; A Month in the Country Suite; Sinfonietta
 
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Howard Blake: Violin Concerto "The Leeds"; A Month in the Country Suite; Sinfonietta

5 May 2008 | Format: MP3

£4.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
Song Title
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Popularity  
30
1
19:43
30
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7:09
30
3
5:33
30
4
3:02
30
5
1:19
30
6
3:53
30
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1:33
30
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3:03
30
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6:49
30
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4:00
30
11
1:50
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12
3:36

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1994
  • Release Date: 1 Jan. 1994
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 1994 ASV Ltd.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:01:30
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LK5FAS
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,516 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 Dec. 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a fine example of the way Classical music should be heading in the 21st Century. Lyrical, lush and romantic, the concerto uses the full range of the violin's expression without resorting to mal-treatment and noise. The orchestration is at times sparse (a single flute at one point), at times mindblowingly broad, such as at the climax of the second movement. The thematic tightness of the whole piece makes it reward repeated listening. A wonderful work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katharine Kirby TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 July 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I chose this cd because I have been so enjoying reading A Month In The Country by J.L. Carr A Month in the Country (Penguin Modern Classics). Having finished the book after reading it twice, I wanted continue the experience by watching the dvd. However this is all but unobtainable, even though it starred Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh. Eventually I did find a copy, on an auction site and enjoyed watching the hazy days in Oxgodby drift by, with the friendship between Birkin and Moon gradually developing and helping them to heal a little after their unforgettable, horrible experiences.The haunting, searingly memorable classic book centres around a quiet country church, just after The Great War, during a long hot summer. Excitingly I found that this the soundtrack, written by Howard Blake, famous for his score and words for the animated film 'Walking In the Air', "The Snowman'; was available and so I sent for it. Now I am introduced to the gorgeous Sinfonietta 'A Month in The Country' featuring Christine Edinger playing exquisite violin, with the English Northern Philharmonia, conducted by Paul Daniel. This score won the British Film Institute's Anthony Asquith Award for Musical Excellence.

For me this section brought the beautiful, painful story of the two men who meet as they work on the old country church; thrillingly alive. When I managed to get hold of the film, I loved knowing the music and seeing how it fitted in to the story. As I am not very educated in musical appreciation I can only direct you to the other review for a proper description. However I hope that by explaining the background to the central piece, others may enjoy it even more.
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Format: Audio CD
The most astonishing Violin Concerto I have heard in the last 30 years! This blows all the "modern" pieces off the map. It is an absolute disgrace that beautiful works like this languish unheard and un-played. Truly real music lives! Just listen to this marvellous piece for two minutes and you will know. This is a rallying call to composers who hear music but are afraid to write what they hear because they think they will be classed as "irrelevant" by the likes of Pierre Boulez and the BBC. Ignore them. Write with your heart as Howard Blake has and reach out to everyone. And to violinists like Hilary Hahn I say - dump your modern pieces in favour of something that is truly beautiful. Get out of your head and listen to your heart.

Seriously - buy this cd if you can find a copy - you won't be disappointed. It may even change your life. At the very least, the Concerto will restore your faith in beauty...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
AN ACCESSIBLE 20th CENTURY ROMANTIC VIOLIN CONCERTO 16 Jun. 2000
By Melvyn M. Sobel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
What a beautiful violin concerto this is! Known as "The Leeds," because it was commissioned for the Leeds 1993 City Centenary Celebratory Year, it was given its premiere 6 February with Christiane Edinger, the violinist on this CD. This is not a showy concerto; it's soulful and moving in quite unexpected ways, and it plumbs depths I thought no mid-century composer would dare to. But Blake, born in 1938, does just this, and with a naturalness that silences criticism. The concerto is in three movements. The first, Allegro assai, times in at nearly twenty minutes; it builds quietly to an initial climax that is so glorious it will raise the hair on the back of your head. The violin then weaves in and out with the orchestra with this fabulous, unearthly, floating melody line that simply must be heard to be believed. Material is developed, drawing the listener in to the very core of the music, and then subsides and recapitulates in a grand coda. The second movement, Adagio (Calma), is a tad over seven minutes and is of such intense beauty that it absolutely brings tears to the eyes.... so ethereal and magical is Edinger's playing... it really does defy description. Yet, never is Blake's writing or Edinger's playing heart-on-the-sleeve. It's beauty and emotion simply distilled. The last movement, Allegro con brio, is a joyous, uplifting, spirit-renewing affair of five minutes plus, and the perfect conclusion to this wonderful concerto. In addition, ASV has included Blake's Suite for Strings (1986), called "A Month In The Country," and runs a moody twelve or so minutes. Again, it is music that is both beautiful and accessible (and originally commissioned as a film score). Its five movements, mostly slow, have titles such as "Idyll" and "Elegy." It's one of my favorite 20th Century works, although far too short for me. The last composition on the CD is the Sinfonietta (for ten brass instruments) of 1981, commissioned for the famous Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, in four movements running approximately fifteen minutes. Here is a more "modern" Blake or, dare I say, more "brassy?" However, although quite a contrast to the pieces before it, Blake still makes a statement that is tonally "centered" and never far from melody. The English Northern Philharmonia, under Paul Daniel, gives beautiful support to Edinger in the concerto and plays wonderfully throughout the other works. ASV has captured a nice, warm, broad sound, as well. A CD well worth acquiring, if for the "The Leeds," alone.

[Running time: 62:40]
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very lovely 6 Feb. 2010
By James S. Pasto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I agree with the above reviewer. The music here is lovely, particularly of the violin concerto. The middle movement is very poignant, and forms a nice contrast with the outer movements (both of which have their own charm). It is all very much in the English tradition (echoes of violin works by Vaughn Williams and Dyson). The other pieces are also nice.
Why Does This Remain Unknown? 6 Feb. 2013
By Pennsylvania Settler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This excellent modern yet accessible violin concerto is the sort of thing that would go over extremely well if championed by a high profile violinist like Hahn, Bell or Chang. They could have a huge hit on their hands! It's catchy and exciting in the faster movements, and extremely lovely in the adagio -- great stuff all the way around. Why no one else has recorded it is beyond me.
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