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Salute to Percy Grainger

Pears Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 13.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Performer: Pears
  • Audio CD (9 Sep 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Australian Eloquence
  • ASIN: B0043WBZNW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,084 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Shepherd's Hey
2. Willow Willow
3. I'm Seventeen Come Sunday
4. Bold William Taylor
5. There Was a Pig Went Out to Dig
6. My Robin Is to the Greenwood Gone
7. Lord Maxwell's Goodnight
8. 'The Duke of Marlborough' Fanfare
9. Let's Dance Gay in Green Meadow
10. Scotch Strathspey and Reel
11. The Pretty Maid Milkin' Her Cow
12. The Sprig of Thyme
13. Lisbon
14. The Lost Lady Found
15. Shallow Brown
16. Molly On the Shore
17. Shenandoah
18. Irish Tune from County Derry, 'Danny Boy'
19. Brigg Fair
20. Green Bushes
See all 31 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've waitied a long time for this! 3 May 2011
The original two Decca 'Salute to Percy Grainger' LPs were my first introduction to the wonderful music of Percy Grainger, and for many years the only CD reissue had been the material from the first LP (conducted by Benjamin Britten), with additional tracks from the second (conducted by Steuart Bedford), to make a generously filled 73 minute mid-price collection.

Now, we have a two disc reissue of everything from both LPs. Disc one is identical to the previous CD release, and disc two has the previously unavailable tracks from the 2nd LP, and they are a joy. It has been such a pleasure to hear them again. The setting of 'Under a Bridge' is particularly interesting, with its arrangement for tuned-percussion, and the very simple rendition of 'Six Dukes went a-fishin'' is lovely. A bonus is to have Eliot Gardiner's spirited performance of the completely over-the-top 'The Warriors', which could only be bettered by hearing it live (as I have).

There have been lots of Grainger recordings, and many are very fine, but no one has even come close to matching these performances for sensitivity and sympathy to Grainger's unique style and distinctive sound-world. The recordings still sound remarkably fresh, and I would recommend this collection without reservation to anyone who has even a passing interest in Grainger's music. Music making of the very highest calibre, and a real bargain as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Value 16 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase
The first disc impeccably reconstructs the "Salute to Percy Grainger" end-of-festival concerts conducted by Britten at the Aldeburgh Festival, which were for many the highlight of the whole event and I was lucky enough to attend several of them. Beautiful performances cleanly reproduced; the first disc contains a generous (73 minutes) selection of Grainger's best arrangements.

John Shirley-Quirk's superb bass-baritone voice, and his expressive, controlled and intelligent singing, is worth the price of the set alone. His voice always recorded very well, unlike Peter Pears who was usually far better live than on record - anyone who never heard him in concert, and only knows his voice from his many recordings, might find it difficult to imagine just how fine a singer he actually was. However this disc does Pears' distinctive voice justice, particularly in the melancholy "Willow, Willow".

My only criticism, and it is very minor, would be the running order. Perhaps I am too lost in memories of the actual concerts, but although the fine Passaccaglia is a well known piece of Grainger's and the longest piece on the disc, "Shallow Brown" so catches the heart that it is a hard act to follow.

The second CD contains several Grainger folksong arrangements which are not at all well known, but which should be. Pears and Shirley-Quirk are superb in "The Three Ravens" and "Stormy" respectively. A bonus is Grainger playing his famous recording of "Country Gardens".

Grainger's "Warriors", which completes the disc, is a pretentious, silly piece which well demonstrates why he was never hailed as the Australian Beethoven he believed himself to be. Over time, public opinion usually gets it about right.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salute to Percy Grainger 18 Dec 2010
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An interesting compliation album, featuring some famous names - Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, with arrangements by Benjamin Britten. It would be especially useful as an introduction to Grainger repertoire as it contains such items as 'Country Gardens' and 'The Warriors'.
I must admit that it does take some listening to - not for background playing.
With the words of the songs printed in the insert, it is very tempting to join in. And why not?
A very good example of the type of music that we used to sing at school, all those years ago, so it does have a touch of nostalgia as well.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rosette-standard CD 20 Jan 2011
This is a truly 'great' CD - probably not to everyone's taste (I'm not much of a man for Baritone singing etc usually) - but Grainger plus truly brilliant artists works.

A mixture of well-known and (to me) unknown Grainger - the arrangement of 'Danny Boy' (AKA Irish tune from County Derry, etc etc) is unique in its harmonisation.
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