Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dr. Dick Blogs about Britten and Elgar

Dr. Dick of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania offers some good thoughts about the CSO's new Britten/Elgar CD along with an in-depth look at the pieces included there in this post. Here's an excerpt:
November's Featured Disc at WITF-FM

As the year marches forward and colder weather approaches, it is a good time to sit back and think about friends, about the places that may have inspired you and, with the kids in school, how things we may (or may not have) learned in school have become part of our personal landscape that perhaps it may surprise you to realize, “oh, I remember when Miss So-and-So taught us that in 4th grade” (or perhaps it was that college course, instead).

For those of us of a certain age who grew up on the notion of the Five Big Orchestras – New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago – discovering great music-making outside of this classical axis has become common place. As great conductors of the past generations give way to newer and younger stars on the podium, ones who maybe haven’t earned the maestroship of Bernstein, Ormandy or Karajan just yet, there was the Man Who Was Everywhere, Neeme Jarvi, perhaps one of the most recorded conductors of the past 20 years (after the equally indefatigable Neville Marriner) – and now there is the Son of the Man Who Was Everywhere, recently appointed the music director of the Cincinnati Symphony, Paavo Jarvi. The baton has indeed been passed.

Their newest recording for the Telarc label features three works by two of England’s best-loved composers: Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, the Four Sea Interludes from Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes and the “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” that Britten originally wrote as a documentary project to introduce children to the various instruments.

It’s our featured CD for this month of November...

This is the ninth CD for Telarc with Paavo Jarvi and Cincinnati and the clarity of their performance and the sound of Telarc’s recording might make you rethink that old adage about the “Big Five,” even if only to expand it to include a few more. British music is often played with a kind of beefy pomposity – at least that’s the way it comes off to my ear – so it’s refreshing to hear livelier tempos, cleaner textures and less weightiness applied to the music. If you’ve ever thought English Music was about as thrilling as English Cuisine, you may change your diet and your tune after hearing these performances!

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