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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
3
Foulds - Hellas; (3) Mantras
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on 10 January 2018
Excellent interpretation and sound. A first class CD.
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VINE VOICEon 16 May 2010
John Foulds is perhaps the most undeservedly neglected of all the 20th Century British composers. In the last few years there has been some more interest in his music, which culminated in a wonderful evening at the Albert Hall in London when Foulds' epic 'A World Requiem' was performed (for the first time complete since 1926) on Armistice Day 2007, conducted by Leon Botstein.

This Lyrita CD was my first introduction to Foulds' music, except for an earlier LP of the compulsive 'Dynamic Tryptich' (also on Lyrita - now on CD). To some extent this release has been superseded by the more recent Warner Classics issues, which duplicate much of the material. BUT, the reason why admirers of this great composer need this CD is because it contains the only recording of the beautiful and entirely characteristic 'Hellas, A Suite of Ancient Greece' - an eloquent, memorable and deeply touching work in six movements, lasting 18 minutes. I find something infinitely sad about Foulds' music - very moving in a kind of understated way. I often play 'Hellas' and recommend it very strongly to all admirers of this fine composer, who would I am sure, be much better known had he lived, for example, as long as Vaughan Williams (sadly he died of cholera in India in 1939 in his 59th year). The other works on the CD, especially 'April England' and the 'Three Mantras' are amongst his finest works. A great introduction to a very rewarding composer.
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on 19 July 2013
This CD was my introduction to Foulds, and it grabbed me right away with its haunting melodies and brilliant development of them. Subsequently, some of these pieces were recorded by other conductors, such as Sakari Oramo, but none of the other conductors have been in Barry Wordsworth's league. For example, Oramo gets lost in the music trying to sensationalize it, and makes it pound, whereas Wordsworth is always tuned into the music's exquisite spirituality and sensuality, which carries a listener through Foulds's structural arches in a seemingly effortless way, versus the sweaty and struggling path that Oramo treks through the same music.

Foulds combined spirituality, sensuality, brilliant orchestarion, philosophical seriousness, and a lighthearted joy of experiencing the cosmos in a mere leaf. He and Ralph Vaughan Williams were the two greatest English composers, and two of the greatest composers of the 20th Century.
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