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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful new music
This is an exceptional collection of fifteen new works by Patrick Hawes. The music is varied - for the most part pastoral and contemplative, but with a natural gift for melody which eludes many other composers. Performances are uniformally excellent with Julian Lloyd Webber's cello sounding absolutely gorgeous on Reflexionem. Elin Manahan Thomas and harpist Claire Jones...
Published on 29 Oct 2009 by The singing strad

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment
Whilst I really enjoyed Fair Albion as a piece on its own, I did not like any of the pieces put with it so in the end I disposed of it.
a BAD BUY ON MY PART.
Published 3 months ago by buccinator


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful new music, 29 Oct 2009
This review is from: Fair Albion: Visions of England - New Works by Patrick Hawes (Elin Manahan Thomas/Julian Lloyd Webber/Claire Jones) (Audio CD)
This is an exceptional collection of fifteen new works by Patrick Hawes. The music is varied - for the most part pastoral and contemplative, but with a natural gift for melody which eludes many other composers. Performances are uniformally excellent with Julian Lloyd Webber's cello sounding absolutely gorgeous on Reflexionem. Elin Manahan Thomas and harpist Claire Jones also make very impressive contributions.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful collection by Patrick Hawes!, 22 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Fair Albion: Visions of England - New Works by Patrick Hawes (Elin Manahan Thomas/Julian Lloyd Webber/Claire Jones) (Audio CD)
Fair Albion - Visions of England - Patrick has once again created an inspired collection of music, bringing together the talents of Elin Manahan Thomas, Julian Lloyd Webber and Claire Jones, who have each added to his interpretations. Whilst listening to the Three Broadland Preludes, one can almost be transported to the wonderful landscape that is Norfolk! I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Patrick's wonderful, thought-provoking talent. You won't be disappointed!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEW WORKS?, 17 Nov 2009
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Mr. Sr Harrup "nehpetsrh" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fair Albion: Visions of England - New Works by Patrick Hawes (Elin Manahan Thomas/Julian Lloyd Webber/Claire Jones) (Audio CD)
First and foremost, this is a beautiful album well worth buying. A lovely mixture of different instruments - piano, cello, harp, voice & harp, string quartets etc, all creating a fine album.

My only query is with the description "New works", erm, Reflexionem & Quanta Qualia have been released by Patrick Hawes before and After the Rain was surely on Classic FM's 2005 release 'The Quiet Room'. Maybe 'New arrangements' might have been more acurate. But, don't let that put you off this CD!

Reflexionem (in this setting) is so beautiful (not that it wasn't on Towards the Light') , Julian Lloyd-Webber plays with sensativity, well supported by the sensative harp of Claire Jones.

So, whether you already have 'Blue in Blue', 'Towards the light' or 'The Quiet Room', one or none of these, add this to your collection, you will not regret it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hawes: Fair Albion, 10 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Fair Albion: Visions of England - New Works by Patrick Hawes (Elin Manahan Thomas/Julian Lloyd Webber/Claire Jones) (Audio CD)
Patrick Hawes "Fair Albion" is billed as an album that celebrates "the heart and soul of the British landscape", and provides an excellent introduction to this immediately accessible composer. The work that lends the album its title is a five-minute orchestral pastorale in the tradition of Vaughan Williams and his successors, while the Three Broadland Piano Preludes, played by Hawes himself, celebrates the landscape of the Norfolk Broads. One of the highhlights for me is the composer's setting of George Herbert's poem, The Call, which surely rivals the Vaughan Williams rendition in His Five Mystical Songs. The soloist here is the Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas whose inviolable voice is perfectly suited to this piece. It would be hard to think of a better exponent. She appears again in a setting of Christina Rossetti's "A Birthday", accompanied on the harp by Claire Jones who also performs a short solo called How Hill (named after a windmill in Norfolk). Julian Lloyd Webber (cello) also puts in an appearance ("Relexionem" and "Gloriette"), an there are works for string quartet. A brief review such as this one can hardly do justice to all the buried treasures.

The chief impression this CD made on me at first hearing was one of transparency. There is nothing of the existential angst foisted upon the listener by so many "serious" composers (as is evident from the radiance exuding from the composer's chosen texts). Everything is done in the light - and yet this is not light music. Hawes manages to speak in an English pastoral idiom without a trace of triviality, and the instant appeal of the music oozes from every bar. For those in search of a fresh voice to delight the ear, Fair Albion is to be highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Of England Personified, 27 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Fair Albion: Visions of England - New Works by Patrick Hawes (Elin Manahan Thomas/Julian Lloyd Webber/Claire Jones) (Audio CD)
Patrick Hawes at his very best. There are 15 reflective pieces of music which evoke the landscape and heritage of England.

The wonderful Welsh soprano, Elin Manahan Thomas sings on two, adding to the heart-felt spiritual quality. The cellist Julian Lloyd Webber also features on two tracks and the Welsh harpist Claire Jones on three, indeed "Reflexionem", featuring the harp and cello together, is one of the exquisite gems to be found on this CD.

"Cantate Domino", performed by Christian Forshaw and the Sanctuary Ensemble, where the haunting alto saxophone and organ add an original dimension to the harmony of the human voices, is particularly memorable.

Some of the music was inspired by the poetry of George Herbert, Christina Rossetti and Thomas Hardy. For me, the superb baritone voice of David Stout, singing the words of Thomas Hardy's much-loved Poem, "The Darkling Thrush", accompanied by the composer on the piano, is perhaps the highlight of the whole collection.

The recording is outstanding and other tracks feature: The Raven Quartet, The Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Brno Chamber Orchestra.

The CD contains more than an hour of the very best in words and music. I cannot recommend it too highly.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilly says, 19 July 2010
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H. J. Kendrick "Hilly" (Norfolk,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fair Albion: Visions of England - New Works by Patrick Hawes (Elin Manahan Thomas/Julian Lloyd Webber/Claire Jones) (Audio CD)
Once more Patrick Hawes has prooved himself a mighty composer-music to sink into -if you could that is!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment, 1 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Fair Albion: Visions of England - New Works by Patrick Hawes (Elin Manahan Thomas/Julian Lloyd Webber/Claire Jones) (Audio CD)
Whilst I really enjoyed Fair Albion as a piece on its own, I did not like any of the pieces put with it so in the end I disposed of it.
a BAD BUY ON MY PART.
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