Stephen M. Whitaker

"Founder Chester Literature Festival"
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,480
Helpful votes received on reviews: 79% (435 of 552)
Location: Wirral, UK.
Birthday: 4 July

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Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,480 - Total Helpful Votes: 435 of 552
Schmitt: Symphony No. 2 / Rêves / Danse d'Abisag /&hellip ~ Florent Schmitt
5.0 out of 5 stars A reviews round-up., 17 April 2014
Penguin Guide, January 2009

La Danse l’Abisag, like the much earlier Tragédie de Salomé, has a biblical theme: unlike Salome, Abisag, despite her erotic dancing, fials to arouse the ageing monarch (King David). The Symphony No. 2 was no mean achievement for a composer in his 88th year! In terms of orchestral expertise and flair, it is second to none, and the opulence of its palette and its imaginative vitality are remarkable. Rêves is an early piece, inspired by a poem by Léon-Paul Fargue and appropriately atmospheric; and Habeyssée, said to be inspired by an Islamic legend, is a three-movement suite for violin and orchestra. This is a rewarding issue… Read more
The Musical Landscape ~ Various Composers
The Musical Landscape ~ Various Composers
The Musical Landscape

Gordon JACOB (1895 – 1984) Overture (1966) [3:47]

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872 – 1958) Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) [13:06]

Edward ELGAR (1857 – 1934) Serenade in E minor, op.20 (1982) [11:09]

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913 – 1976) Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, op.10 (1936) [25:50]

Royal Academy Soloists/Clio Gould (violin/director)

rec. 4-5 May 1999, Angel Studios, London DDD
CANTORIS CRCD 6063 [53:58]
Jubilate Deo! ~ Giovanni Gabrieli
Jubilate Deo! ~ Giovanni Gabrieli
This is the Monteverdi Choir's 30th-anniversary disc. Without that information, perhaps omitted because the anniversary year, and recording date, were back in 1994, such a mixture of periods and of sacred and secular might seem inexplicable. The only booklet notes are an appreciation of the choir by Richard Morrison and an essay entitled `On Singing in the Monteverdi Choir'.

So one can only assume that the disc, ordered chronologically, aims to show the breadth of repertoire the choir has excelled in since its 1964 debut performance of Monteverdi's Vespers, from which it took its name. And excel it does.

Turn on at track one and it may take a few seconds of aural… Read more