Profile for Andrew C. Mitchell > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Andrew C. Mitchell
Top Reviewer Ranking: 716
Helpful Votes: 518

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Andrew C. Mitchell (Manchester, England)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Delius - Cello Concerto; Double Concerto; Paris-The Song of a Great City
Delius - Cello Concerto; Double Concerto; Paris-The Song of a Great City
Offered by INNER PEACE MUSIC
Price: 12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Three great Delius works, 29 July 2014
This recording has three great Delius works. Sir Charles Mackerras and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra give a powerful account of Paris- The Song of a Great City. The impressions that Delius wanted to convey of- 'Mysterious City', City of pleasures', ,and 'of gay music and dancing.'are all present. The music has the feeling of a Nocturne. But something else as well - I had never noticed in other performances the distant kinship with the Tone Poems of Richard Strauss.. Well worth having!
Although many people have written off the Double Concerto, I love its tenderness and in this performance with Tasmin Little and Raphael Wallfisch the unity of purpose and commitment both together and with the orchestra. There is a warm outpouring of rhapsodic melody. Who would believe that Delius finished the Concerto in England having been displaced from his home in France by the First World War? And finally there is the Cello Concerto- Delius own favorite among the concertos. written for and with the co-operation of Beatrice Harrison. Raphael Wallfisch makes the most of the singing tone of his cello. The orchestra and cello interchange thematic material and play for each other. Sensitive musicianship!


Delius: Orchestral Works
Delius: Orchestral Works
Price: 7.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh fantasies, 25 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This music brings me great pleasure and happiness. This early Delius is great music and deserves to be better known. It speaks of the time that Delius spent in America and listened to the music of the black workers on the Orange Plantations at Solano Grove near to the great St. John's River. I don't know if Delius had a relationship with a black worker or whether she bore him a child, but he certainly had a massive affection for the time that he spent there. Part of the evidence is the fresh and lively Florida Suite - Daybreak- Dance ('La Calinda'- one of my favourite tunes) , By the River, Sunset - near the Plantation, and finally At Night. There are two movements from a little suite. I wonder what he was thinking as he wrote the mildly exotic 'La Quadroone'( Rapsodie floridienne). There is a fantasy overture 'Over the Hills and Far Away' with some fine moments for flute. The final scene from the opera 'Koanga' inspired by the black African experience in America set on an 18th century Louisiana plantation is a fitting conclusion to this beautifully realised experience with excellent performances from English Northern Philharmonia conducted by David Lloyd Jones.


Williams: Symphony No. 5 & No. 7 [Bernard Haitink, Sheila Armstrong] [LPO: LPO-0072]
Williams: Symphony No. 5 & No. 7 [Bernard Haitink, Sheila Armstrong] [LPO: LPO-0072]
Price: 12.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Live and visionary, 25 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you were in the Royal Festival Hall on 15 December 15th 1994 for a concert containing Vaughan Williams 5th Symphony you may be able to hear yourself coughing. This is a splendid live recording by a great conductor leading a great orchestra through a great visionary piece of music created by Vaughan Williams from within the depths of the Second World War. Some of the themes are linked with his 'Pilgrim's Progress.' There are some fine solos from the woodwind. Something that I particularly appreciate is the depth of sound from the lower strings - bowed and plucked. The whole symphony is beautifully and logically shaped moving towards the final movement passacaglia with its serene ending. On the other CD is the Sinfonia antactica looking into the human aspects of courage and stoicism in the face of insurmountable natural forces. Bernard Haitink enables the London Philharmonic Orchestra to bring to the fore the overwhelming bleakness of the tragedy of Scott's doomed expedition. This is great programme music. Sheila Armstrong and the London Philharmonic Choir and the wind machine bring their own touch of wordless sadness.


Delius - Orchestral Works
Delius - Orchestral Works
Price: 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ecstasy, 17 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A debt of gratitude is owed to Eric fenby for his notation of several of the works here and for the arrangement of others. A debt of gratitude is owed for the arrangements that Beecham made and for his championing of this music when others were reluctant. And then there is the absolute mastery of Sir John Barbirolli with the beloved Halle Orchestra and with the London Symphony Orchestra. The sound is ravishing and the senses are delighted. I made a discovery - 'Late Swallows' from the 3rd movement of a String Quartet that Delius wrote while a refugee in England during the 1st World War. His thought is of the swallows at his home in France. Eric Fenby has done a lovely job of making this available for String Orchestra and Sir John ensures that the string playing is special. On the cover of these CDs is a quotation written in the score of 'In a Summer Garden'. -
'All are my blooms and all sweet blooms of love to thee I gave while spring and summer sang.'
In the last month of his life, with great tenderness, Sir John recorded 'Brigg Fair' and Appalachia'. I am filled with ecstasy as also in the final track on CD 2 - 'A Song of Summer' that Eric Fenby notated as Delius life drew to a close. I am full up.


Delius: Orchestral Works, Vol.3
Delius: Orchestral Works, Vol.3
Offered by Naxos Direct UK
Price: 5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Love and loss, 15 July 2014
If you are looking for a friendly version of Delius Orchstral Works as performed by the great Delius champion, Sir Thomas Beecham, this is a good recording to have. Somehow the sound of the recordings of the 1920s and 1930s have a feeling of nostalgia about them. David Lennick has done an excellent job in making the transfers from 78s. Some of the collection of pieces on this volume show Delius connections with North America. The three shorter pieces are fascinating. La Calinda is an arnarrangement by Eric Fenby from the Afro-American opera, Koanga. It is short and delightful. In the 'Irmelin Prelude', Fenby in 1931, had helped Delius to use themes from the opera (1890-1892). - Lovely. Delius wrote incidental music for James Elroy Flecker's play 'Hassan'. Here is the closing scene with its chorus repeatedly singing 'We take the Golden Road to Samarkand.' The two significant works on this recording are 'Brigg Fair - An English Rhapsody' and 'Appalachia' based on 'an old slave song'. Both are deeply concerned with love and loss and their rhapsodic nature permits the sensual exploration of the materials. What a glorious sound world, what melodies and scales and Wagnerian and Afro- American harmonies!


Debussy, Volume 1
Debussy, Volume 1
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 12.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Just great, 10 July 2014
This review is from: Debussy, Volume 1 (Audio CD)
The Philharmonia play beautifully for Geoffrey Simon. There is an atmospheric account of La Mer which is amongst the best available. The brass and particularly the horns contribute marvellously to the impression of the sea. In the Premiere Rapsodie James Campbell plays some very fine clarinet. In the other pieces I really enjoy the refinement of the arrangements - Caplet - 'Clair de lune', Mouton - ' Deux arabesques', Stokowski -' La cathedrale engloutie', Busser -'Petite Suite' and finally and possibly the greatest from that prince of arrangers - Percy Grainger- 'Pagodes'. He finds the essence of the experience that drove Debussy to write the piece in the first place - and the percussionists do a fantastic and enjoyable job.


The British Music Collection: Frederick Delius
The British Music Collection: Frederick Delius

4.0 out of 5 stars Alternatives to the Beecham versions, 9 July 2014
If you are buying this Delius British Music Collection, you are getting a wide perspective of Delius best works recorded over a forty year period. Among the earliest recordings are those in the Kingsway Hall in 1953 :- 'A Song of Summer', 'Paris- The Song of a Great City', 'The Walk to the Paradise Garden', 'In a Summer Garden', and 'Summer Night on the River.' played by the London Symphony Orchestra with Anthony Collins in charge. In 1977, in St John's Smith Square, Neville Marriner and Academy of St Martin in the Fields turned in very nimble and spirited performances of five shorter pieces of Delius:- 'La Calinda' from Koanga. 'Intermezzo and Serenade' from Hassan, 'Intermezzo' from Fennimore and Gerda, and 'Air and Dance', and 'A Song before Sunrise.' One of the great pieces of Delius is 'Sea Drift' here performed movingly by John Shirley Quirk, the London Symphony Chorus and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Richard Hickox in 1980.Two of the best moments captured here are:- the Sonata in one movement for cello and piano played by Julian Lloyd Webber and Bengt Forsberg in Abbey Road Studios in 1996, and one of Delius own favorites, 'A Song of the High Hills'. with the Orchestra and Chorus of Welsh national Opera under Sir Charles MacKerras in Brangwyn Hall Swansea in 1993. The wordless chorus, in particular, is good.


Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos. 3 "Pastoral" & No. 6
Vaughan Williams: Symphonies Nos. 3 "Pastoral" & No. 6
Price: 8.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Vaughan Williams, 8 July 2014
It seems to me that Kees Bakels and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, playing excellently throughout, give us a view of The Pastoral Symphony and the 6th Symphony which enable us to compare them as responses to war. In the First World War Vaughan Williams, in his forties, served in France and saw men die in the ambulance. Many of his friends were killed, including George Butterworth. In the Second World War he was in his seventies. His Pastoral Symphony has an elegaic feel and seems to speak as a requiem. It is slow. It is contemplative and there are many beautifully taken solos, particularly from the violin, double reeds, the natural trumpet and the natural horn. ( a kind of battlefield memory).The wordless singing of Patricia Rozario, in the final movement, is a haunting lament. The Sixth Symphony is full of boiling anger. It starts with a scream that tumbles down through the orchestra. And the symphony ends with a fourth movement in a kind of wraithlike desolation. Vaughan Williams did not want the sixth to be interpreted as a war symphony, but confirmed Shakespeare - "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded by a sleep."


Percy Grainger: Piano Music Vol 5
Percy Grainger: Piano Music Vol 5
Offered by rarerarerare
Price: 4.31

5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic final "dishing up", 7 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Thirteen more pieces of Grainger genius. Again Grainger arranges attractive works by other composers - Brahms 'Paganini Variations No 12,' William Byrd, Delius and Gershwin. I particularly enjoy the William Byrd Air and Variations for the Virginals"The Carman's Whistle." But what amazingly different things he could make. At the one end there is the gentle rocking repose of 'Zanzibar Boat-Song', and at the other, the riotous 'The Warriors- Music to an imaginary ballet' which roughly compares with the compositions of Charles Ives with different sets of musicians playing with different chords and rhythms against each other. (I think it is worth having a listen to 'The Warriors' as Grainger made it for orchestra/s) On this CD there is the simple version of 'Up-country Song' (Colonial Song) and the massive weighty 'English Dance' which Grainger began in 1899 and versions of which occupied him for most of the rest of his life. The three pianists Martin Jones, Philip Martin and Richard McMahon play well together, whether with four hands or six hands, at their Steinways.


Grainger: Londonderry Air, the Music of Percy Grainger
Grainger: Londonderry Air, the Music of Percy Grainger
Offered by musica
Price: 11.68

5.0 out of 5 stars a great inheritance, 7 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The sheer range and depth of these works is a testimony to the genius that was Percy Grainger. He worked over the uncut diamonds of folk music and produced things that are wonderful and lovely. His mind roved across Ireland, Scotland, America,The Faroe Islands and Denmark through the countryside of Lincolnshire and Somerset and to the Sailor's Sea -chanty and over several centuries. Here is music that is exhilerating and moving. I was completely unaware of his 'Love verses from the Song of Solomon.' In the works recorded here harmonies range from the most advanced to the most simple as required. This is music I think that should be in every primary school. It is a rich inheritance. The Monteverdi Choir reveals its greatness in singing here and there must be a hearty thank-you to all the musicians playing at the top of their game. I applaud everything that is here and wish that there were more concerts devoted to the music of Percy Grainger


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20