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Customer Review

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassed, 13 May 2009
This review is from: Elgar Dream of Gerontius (Audio CD)
There have been some wonderful recordings of this work but my favourites are this one and the Vienna version in German from the Elgar Society. Alfreda Hodgson, Robert Tear and Ben Luxon are as good as any of their rivals and the recording is clear and full. Sir Alexander Gibson is clearly fully in sympathy with the piece. I had the LPs for many years and was delighted to be able to buy the CD version.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Sep 2013 20:35:48 BDT
This seems to be a review of another performance, not the Pentatone release at all. I think Amazon has attached this review in error.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Sep 2013 21:00:54 BDT
Penperlleni says:
Correct - I have never reviewed the Pentatone.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Sep 2013 21:17:04 BDT
I love "Gerontius"--not very popular here in the U.S. What's your opinion of the Barbirolli recording?

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2013 20:28:54 BDT
Penperlleni says:
One of the best but the bass Kim Borg is thought by some to be the weak link. I can live with his strange English for the sake of everything else especially Janet Baker.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2013 21:14:34 BDT
Borg's heavily accented English is, admittedly strange, but in purely vocal terms I enjoy him. I agree with you wholeheartedly about Baker; especially as the Angel, her voice is its own light source. I like Lewis as well, although he seems to get slight respect.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jan 2014 17:03:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Jan 2014 17:07:08 GMT
Thank you for these interesting comments. I'd like to suggest that you also look out for Barbirolli's 1957 live recording from Rome on Archipel (ARPCD0403). Its main merits are tenor Jon Vickers and contralto Constance Shacklock (a REAL contralto this!). Both are absolutely oustanding and the whole performance is searingly operatic (must have pleased the Italians!). On the down side is the sometimes murky sound and unconvincing choir. A great performance nonetheless.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jan 2014 18:16:19 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Jan 2014 18:19:45 GMT
The Rome '57 is really a great performance. Such a shame that Vickers, always the contrarian and something of a religious fanatic, refused ever again to sing the role because of its Catholic dogma; at this early stage of his career he must have been very happy to take on such glamorous assignment, religious scruples or not--and surely he is the greatest of all exponents of the role in vocal terms, as well as in his compelling, tortured fervor. The sound is not excellent, but I find it adequate. Shacklock I've overlooked somewhat in my enthusiasm for Vickers, I must hear it again. Thank you for reminding of this great occasion.

Posted on 17 Nov 2015 21:58:17 GMT
Penperlleni says:
There is also a Barbirolli Gerontius from New York available from the Elgar Society. I have not heard it. Their price for the Rome Gerontius is attractive.
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Location: Sussex England

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