- Orchestra: National Festival Orchestra
- Conductor: David Russell Hulme
- Composer: Edward German
- Audio CD (17 Aug. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: CD
- Label: Naxos
- ASIN: B002ED6VJK
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,408 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
German: Tom Jones CD
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Opéra comique en 3 actes / Marianne Hellgren Staykov (Sophia), Richard Morrison (Tom Jones), Heather Shipp (Honour), Donald Maxwell (Squire Western), Simon Butteriss (Gregory)... - National Festival Orchestra and Chorus - David Russell Hulme, direction
This second Marco Polo disc of Edward German's more serious music evokes the same warm welcome I recently gave the first. --Gramophone on 8.223726
''This new recording [is] highly worthwhile. A strong and largely british cast is excellently conducted by David Russell Hulme, clearly singing with much enthusiasm Great fun.'' --Scotland on Sunday
''That the work deserves a complete recording is no more in doubt than that it has here received a worthy one. David Russell Hulme, the conductor, has long made a special study of German's music, and his grasp of its scope and nuances is readily apparent...[an] exceptionally fine achievement.'' --Gramophone
Top Customer Reviews
For many listeners, Edward German will be known primarily as the composer of the comic opera 'Merrie England' written for the Savoy in 1902, a work which at the time seemed to herald a new and exciting operatic partnership with Basil Hood (the skilled librettist for Arthur Sullivan's last completed opera 'The Rose of Persia', 1899). Indeed, when Sullivan died in 1900 leaving his next collaboration with Hood 'The Emerald Isle' unfinished, Edward German was chosen by Richard and Helen D'Oyly Carte to complete the work which was subsequently unveiled in 1901 to considerable acclaim.
Perhaps the jewel among German's operatic scores is 'Tom Jones', first performed in Manchester in 1907 and swiftly transferred to London's Apollo Theatre. There has been a previous recording of highlights (now available on a Classics for Pleasure coupling with 'The Beggar's Opera'), but it has been a long wait for a complete recording of this masterly work. From the hugely impressive opening chorus (pitting a busily-chattering female group against their hunting spouses) to the joyous finale, German provides number after number which will remain in the memory long after the performance has finished.
In every way, this new recording from Naxos is a triumph. The soloists are consistently fine and bring their colourful characters vividly to life.Read more ›
I have listened to this several times now with a score from ebay and with each listening I have become more impressed with German's achievement. The two big finales are superb and I am slightly ashamed to say that I find them quite moving! Things have moved on from Sullivan's time and the orchestration is much richer and positively Elgarian at times. A couple of passages I'm sure influenced later musical composers including Richard Rogers. I love the low rich chords with full orchestra at the ends of pieces, and brass are used much more prominantly than Sullivan's scores, with some lovely passionate counter-melodies for the horns.
David Russell Hulme does not put a foot wrong. His love for the music shines through in the care and attention to detail. To be picky, he doesn't have the Royal Philharmonic at his command and there are one or two intonational challenges in the brass, including a little horn burble hidden in the Prologue which I'm surprised was missed. Strings and woodwind are excellent. However these are minor criticisms and in a way add to the live character of the performance.
The soloists without exception are excellent. Marianne Hellgren Staykov sings the virtuosic arias with great panache - just a hint of accent at times - "the san in 'ees flight". The chorus also is good, but being small could perhaps have had the volume boosted in some tutti sections.
All in all, thoroughly recommended and I look forward to the next release.
Hopefully this new recording of the complete "Tom Jones" may rectifiy that.
I didn't know much of German's work (apart from Merrie England) but now am quite hooked on this recording.
The Classics for pleasure recording of "Merrie England is great,but suffers somewhat due to it's age,this cannot be said of Tom Jones.
It has a cast chosen for their abilty not only to fit the roles,but also their diction,essential when singing in English,is exemplary.
Selling (as of August 2009)at £6.98,it is a something that can't be overlooked,by either lovers of the musical period that German wrote for,or just anyone who likes Edwardian Operetta.
By the way, the second disc is "filled out" by 3 arias from Tom Jones that were deleted before the production reached the stage,so a real "complete" Tom Jones it is!
Go on,you know you want to.I can guarantee you won't regret it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thoroughly enjoyable. Informative booklet suppled. Would recommend.Published on 23 July 2014 by Classy Bird
German's Merrie England is well know. This is less so, so it is great to have this reminder of a beautiful ,score.Published on 28 Jun. 2014 by Terry Davis
An excellent recording of a musical which is seldom seen these days, it had added interest when I realised that I knew a couple of the artists on the recording and had appeared on... Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2014 by Alec
Very useful - it was interesting to find how the full stage version differs so much from the concert versionPublished on 26 Sept. 2013 by GT