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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant piece, great performance, 13 July 2012
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This review is from: Jonathan Dove: There Was A Child (Audio CD)
I won't repeat the background to this piece but suffice to say it is a brilliant work, where the music enhances the poetry. At times it reminded me of works by John Adams, and makes use of the resouces of the orchestra and choruses to create a full range of colour. It is performed brilliantly here by the CBSO and choruses and if you listen without getting a lump in your throat you're a tough cookie indeed! This work deserves to become a classic of the 21st century.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully a classic-to-be, 12 July 2012
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This review is from: Jonathan Dove: There Was A Child (Audio CD)
Jonathan Dove's oratorio takes us through the life of a child; commissioned as a memorial for a nineteen-year-old boy who died on his gap-year, this piece uses a number of unconnected poems to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

The piece begins with birth; we follow the child through his early years, playful and energetic, and then as he begins to mature and explore. Then the worst happens; he meets his death, and those left behind grieve. The shatteringly gorgeous final movement turns it back around, showing us the child again, going out into the world and becoming a part of it as it is a part of him.

I loved this piece the first time I heard it, and I've been looking forward to this recording; I wasn't disappointed. The live recording quality is good; I wasn't a huge fan of the soprano soloist, but the tenor is good, and the children's chorus is generally excellent. The orchestra and chorus work well together, and the whole piece remains extremely powerful.

Beautiful and sometimes profound, Dove's piece deserves to become a modern classic, a part of the standard symphonic choral repertoire to stand with Tippet's A Child of Our Time or Walton's Belshazzar's Feast. I hope this recording allows a wider audience to appreciate it as it deserves.

Poems used:
1 - I am the Song, Charles Causley; Birth, Langston Hughes
2 - Childhood, Thomas Traherne; excerpt from The Prelude, William Wordsworth
3 - A Song About Myself, John Keats
4 - From all the Jails the Boys and Girls, Emily Dickinson
5 - Over the Fence, Emily Dickinson
6 - excerpt from The Prelude, William Wordsworth
7 - Romance, William Turner
8 - excerpt from On Leaping over the Moon, Thomas Traherne; High Flight, John Gillespie Magee Jr; excerpt from On the Eve of his Execution, Chidiock Tichborne; excerpt from King John, William Shakespeare; excerpt from In Memoriam, Alfred, Lord Tennyson
9 - There Was a Child, Walt Whitman
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite pieces of classical music, 22 May 2013
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This review is from: Jonathan Dove: There Was A Child (Audio CD)
This record was a present for my grandpa on his 80th birthday. It is especially great for me because I was singing in the chorus on the CD. It's not quite as good coming from speakers as it was in person but it's still a fantastic piece of music
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Jonathan Dove: There Was A Child
Jonathan Dove: There Was A Child by Joan Rodgers (Audio CD - 2012)
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