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4.3 out of 5 stars
6
4.3 out of 5 stars


on 10 October 2014
A wonderful recording with perfect recorded sound.
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on 30 April 2012
"The Music Makers" is a setting of a poem by Arthur O'Shaughnessy. Elgar was clearly inspired by this second-rate poetry and with his music he made a first-rate work. (Maybe you disagree.) There are many allusions to his earlier works, and these may make you smile. For example, at the opening lines "...And we are the dreamers of dreams, Wandering by lone sea-breakers..." there is a quote from "Gerontius" followed by one from "Sea Pictures". There is extensive quotation from the Enigma Variations, and at "But on one man's soul it hath broken..." (Track 6) we hear "Nimrod" skilfully and beautifully divided between the soloist, chorus and orchestra. However the work is built on its own themes, treated symphonically and illuminated with subtle orchestration. Janet Baker as soloist is beyond reproach and the chorus, a very important part, sings with intelligence and commitment.

I have owned the vinyl LP of this work for many years, and in comparison this remastered CD brings out the diction of the chorus better, at the expense of some harshness in the higher register. (There is always a trade-off; do not set the volume control too high.)

I cannot add much to what has already been said in other reviews on Amazon about Barbirolli's Dream of Gerontius. I also have the Boult recording (on vinyl) and confirm that his is the more spiritual interpretation, with three very good soloists (but what a pity Helen Watts does not sing the top A in the last alleluia - it ought to be compulsory). In contrast Barbirolli brings out the dramatic aspects of this work, with a truly demonic demons' chorus, a convincing Gerontius in Richard Lewis and a sublime Angel in Janet Baker, who does not shun the more difficult alternatives.
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on 17 February 2017
The Best
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on 27 April 2015
I love this recording of the Dream, it's absolutely my favourite; Gedda is extraordinary and Boult's control of the choir is exquisite. The orchestral playing is nothing short of thrilling.

The Music Makers is an oft neglected piece, often accused (unfairly) of being a pastiche. It's self-referential, certainly, but not pastiche! It's a great recording and very exciting ("With wonderful deathless ditties" is particularly thrilling). It's not quite as refined as the Dream on this recording; but that's not necessarily a bad thing; when choir and orchestra get a fraction out with each other I think it actually adds an extra frisson!
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on 12 June 2013
Sir John at the height of his genius. Beautiful and the Hale at it's best under principle violin of Martin Milner. How could I not love it, my late mother was in the chorus!
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on 23 January 2013
Unfortunately the tracks are split across places where singing is in progress! This really ruins the listening experience. I have noticed this with other digital downloads of some classical music. Where the composer has named different parts of the music albeit the music is continuous the software physically splits the music into distinct tracks. Not good. Would be 5 stars if it was like listening to the actual performance as intended.
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