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Macfarren: Robin Hood [Double CD]

Ronald Corp Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 10.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Macfarren: Robin Hood + Wallace: Maritana (Naxos: 8660308-09) + Balfe: Falstaff
Price For All Three: 38.53

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Product details

  • Conductor: Ronald Corp
  • Composer: George Alexander MacFarren
  • Audio CD (26 Sep 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B005KNODNM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,531 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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Robin Hood: OvertureNicky Spence 5:360.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Robin Hood: Act I: Introduction: Clang! Clang! It is a merry (Chorus)Nicky Spence 6:580.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Robin Hood: Act I: Ballad: The hunters wake (Alice, Chorus)Nicky Spence 2:260.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Robin Hood: Act I: Duet: When lovers are parted (Robin, Marian)Nicky Spence 2:550.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Robin Hood: Act I: Trio: A dark and troublous time (Robin, Marian, Sheriff)Nicky Spence 3:070.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Robin Hood: Act I: Ballad: True love (Marian)Nicky Spence 2:070.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Robin Hood: Act I: Scena and Song: The monk within his cell (Sompnour)Nicky Spence 5:300.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Robin Hood: Act I: Scena and Song: Be not severe (Allan, Robin, Chorus)Nicky Spence 2:230.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Robin Hood: Act I: Ballad: Englishmen by birth (Robin)Nicky Spence 2:300.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Robin Hood: Act I: Finale: May the saints protectNicky Spence 6:100.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 1: Entr'acteNicky Spence 1:240.89  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 1: Part Song: The wood, the wood (Outlaws)Nicky Spence 2:020.89  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 1: Robbery Scene: A good fat deer (Robin, Much, John, Sompnour)Nicky Spence 9:06Album Only
Listen14. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 1: Ballad: The grasping Normans (Robin, Greenwood men)Nicky Spence 7:320.89  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 2: Scena: Hail happy morn (Marian)Nicky Spence 9:07Album Only
Listen16. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 2: Ballad: From childhood's dawn (Sheriff)Nicky Spence 3:100.89  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 2: Duet: To the fair (Marian, Alice)Nicky Spence 2:370.89  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 3: Chorus: How bright is the day (Allan, Alice, Robin, Marian)Nicky Spence 3:430.89  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 3: Dances: Round dance and Tilting at the QuintainNicky Spence 4:550.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Robin Hood: Act II Scece 3: Scena: Hoodman blind (Villagers)Nicky Spence 9:51Album Only
Listen  3. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 3: Song: My own, my guiding star (Robin)Nicky Spence 2:410.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 3: Ensemble: Merry laughter (Sheriff, Marian, Alice, Allan, Company)Nicky Spence 6:230.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 3: Quintet: My heart from its terror (Marian, Alice, Robin, Allan, Sheriff)Nicky Spence 2:230.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Robin Hood: Act II Scene 3: Finale: My children thus your lives (Sheriff, Company)Nicky Spence 6:270.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Robin Hood: Act III Scene 1: Entr'acteNicky Spence 3:170.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Robin Hood: Act III Scene 1: Duet: Greatest plague on earth (Allan, Alice)Nicky Spence 3:040.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Robin Hood: Act III Scene 1: Scena: My child has fled (Sheriff)Nicky Spence 6:080.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Robin Hood: Act III Scene 1: Duet: To King Richard at once (Sheriff, Sompnour)Nicky Spence 4:040.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Robin Hood: Act III Scene 2: Part Song: Now the sun has mounted (Citizens)Nicky Spence 6:200.89  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Robin Hood: Act III Scene 2: Song: Sons of the greenwood (Marian, Greenwood men)Nicky Spence 2:440.89  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Robin Hood: Act III Scene 3: Scena: Vain was the proud ambition (Robin, Marian, Chorus)Nicky Spence 8:54Album Only
Listen14. Robin Hood: Act III Scene 4: Finale: Hark, to that doleful bell (Full company)Nicky Spence 7:500.89  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Robin Hood: Act III Scene 4: Finale ultimo: We've made a slight mistake (Full company)Nicky Spence 4:470.89  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Review

Nicky Spence carries (Robin)off with cheerful style.Under Ronald Corp,the orchestra reveals a bright,attractive piece. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,Christmas'11

Critic's Choice 2011 --Gramophone,Dec'11

Nicky Spence is splendid as Robin Hood;vigorous in the ballad 'Englishmen by birth',he is eloquent in the beautiful 'My own,my guiding star'.Ronald Corp clearly love this music;and if there's a touch of am-dram about the chorus,well it's all part of the fun. --Gramophone,Jan'12

The solo singing is admirably led by Nicky Spence, exhilarating not only in his ballads 'Englishmen' and 'Thy guiding light' but also in the compelling prison scene.What ultimately remains, though, is amazement that a key work in British operatic history,lost to audiences for over a century, can be disinterred and recorded to such a high overall standard with limited resources.Tribute is thus due not only to conductor Ronald Corp but also to the indefatigable guiding lights of Victorian Opera. --Opera,Mar'12

Product Description

Nicky Spence (Robin Hood) - George Hulbert (Sir Reginald d'Bracy) - Louis Hurst (Hugo) - Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks (Allan-a-Dale)... John Powell Singers - Victorian Opera Chorus and Orchestra - Ronald Corp, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Further Victorian Operatic Enterprise 30 Sep 2011
By Albion
Format:Audio CD
The second Naxos release by Victorian Opera Northwest brings us to a major work by one of the 'big names' in Victorian music, (Sir) George Alexander Macfarren (1813-1887). Long-term Principal at the Royal Academy of Music, he was as famed in his lifetime for his operas, cantatas and oratorios as he was for his dogged determination not to let encroaching and finally total blindness stem his creative output.

If William Wallace's 'Lurline' is cake and champagne (Wallace: Lurline), Macfarren's 'Robin Hood' is most definitely bread and ale. Gone is the harp-festooned luxury and easily-assimilated melody of the former, replaced with - what, exactly?

There is a bluff open-heartedness in the musical idiom which suits the story and setting down to the ground. The lack of surface allure may seem somewhat stark to listeners on first hearing, but on repetition little melodic motifs catch the attention and the folk-like character of many of the tunes begins to etch them in the mind. There is colour in the orchestration, but it seldom pushes its way forward for prime attention.

From the opening of the overture to the final chorus, we are in no doubt that this is most definitely a self-conscious attempt to continue and advance a specifically English operatic style, with its evocative horn calls, simple diatonic melodies and occasional `rustic pipe-and-tabor' approach. The influence of Weber is shown in several extended scenas, but for the most part this is very much a `ballad' opera in the honourable English tradition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars no better than all right 1 Dec 2011
By Stephen
Format:Audio CD
All credit to Naxos for recording this 'romantic English opera' from 1860; it is always interesting to hear these neglected pieces and form one's own opinion. This one is quite long (two discs of nearly 80 minutes each), and it would be good to be able to report that it is worth the trouble; but really there is very little distinctive music here, and some of the items are the sort of thing that gave 'Victorian music' a bad name (such as the faintly embarrassing part song in Act III scene 2).

Maybe with more able advocacy this would have come up better, but the general standard of performance is not much above semi-professional. The recording is clear and some of the singing and orchestral playing is fine; but several of the solo voices sound to be under strain, and the orchestral tutti sounds pretty thin.

If you want to explore the genre, as I did, then it is a worthy introduction, but it is only fair to mention these reservations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A fascinating piece of victoriana, and musically engaging. It is very well sung by the cast among whom George Hulbert as the Sherriff of Nottingham stands out. I hope the producers give us more of the same, some of Balfe's operas for example.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is another of those recordings that I really wanted to like and about which I can muster no enthusiasm. It's worth hearing if you're very curious about the state of English opera in the mid-nineteenth century. By the witness of this offering, it was in a pretty sorry state, indeed. The music is pleasant, tuneful and thoroughly forgettable. The only piece that made any favourable impression on me was the part-song early in the last act. However, that impression faded when, after 2 and a half minutes, I thought it song was coming to an end, only to be follow by another verse just as long. It was rather nice, but it over stayed its welcome.

The libretto hasn't worn particularly well, either. It's full of the felicities of which Gilbert and Sullivan were later to make such fun. There's a fine example in the finale: Robin Hood, "Oh Joy!" Maid Marian, "Oh Rapture!" G&S put it better in "Pinafore" with, "Oh Joy, Oh Rapture unforeseen!" And I can't resist mentioning Nanki Poo's famous, "Modified Rapture!"

I might have been better impressed if the performance had been better. I don't think I would, but it is a possibility. Alas, the performance isn't very inspiring. It's adequate, at best, and occasionally less than. The orchestra and chorus are good - on the order of what one would hear in a regional opera company. The principals are, without exception, over-taxed by their parts. Though none of the voices are really bad, none of them are very good either. They manage, but not without the random shout or scream to reach a high note.

The program notes indicate that this work was one of the more successful English operas of the period. If this was one of the best, it's easy to understand why they've been forgotten.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A fascinating recording, on the whole adequately sung by the principals and chorus. The orchestra is in need of more strings but again is adequate and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. and a very enjoyable listen! A professional recording studio would probably have helped everyone - a school hall(which I assume was the venue?) does not have the right qualities to give a bloom to the sound and justice to the singers.
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