Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Alun Jenkins, Frederick Delius, John McCarthy|
Delius: Orchestral Works
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
Jeffrey Lee | Asheville area, NC USA | 01/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find these renditions by Sir John Barbirolli totally beguiling. He brings warmth and deep sincerity to everything he portrays here. One surely senses the great love he had for Delius' music. Much of the charm wrought by the conductor has to do with the turn of various phrases. Time and again he caresses melodies. Simultaneously, he conveys a feeling of simple joyousness. Hear the Intermezzo from Fennimore and Gerda; The Walk to the Paradise Garden; the Irmelin Prelude, with its pastoral beauty; La Calinda, where one feels serenaded in a happy, carefree manner. A Song Before Sunrise weaves a similar pattern. In addition, there's that wonderful exotic quality that here and there echoes in Delius' music. Brigg Fair seems to have both this at some moments and yet a pleasing, homespun British character during other moments. Sometimes too there is a nostalgic yearning. In this vein, one can only relax and drink in the expressive portrait of Late Swallows. And what about the playful, carefree In a Summer Garden or the imposing, spiritual folk picture, Appalachia ? In so many ways, both this sensitive composer and conductor reach out to touch the life-affirming soul. How can one not be soothed and refreshed by what is offered here ? If there's anything missing, perhaps it's the composer's Summer Evening, another of his memorable pieces. A wonderful collection, and a source of inspiration. By the way, I find Barbirolli's Delius more enjoyable than Beecham's."
J. Rich | 09/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I view John Barbirolli's Delius as an important bridge in-between Thomas Beecham and the more modern conductors Charles Mackerras, Richard Hickox, and Vernon Handley. Barbirolli should be acknowledged for turning a younger generation onto Delius. He clearly understood this music, but does understanding a composer's music warrant a 5-star review? Absolutely not. You have to have great performances and I'm afraid that some of these performances have been outshined by other recordings. I certainly disapprove of his reading of "Brigg Fair," as another reviewer pointed out. This particular reading receieves a lackluster performance. It certainly doesn't top Beecham's or Mackerras' recordings. The audio quality could be better, especially considering these are '60s recordings. I own many (and I do mean many) recordings from the '60s that sound better than this, but that's a small gripe.
Now that I have my negative points out of the way, Barbirolli excels at keeping this music cohesive as many know in less capable hands Delius' music could easily fall apart. There is a performance of "Appalachia" here that receieves a fantastic reading. I've never heard this piece bettered by any other conductor. Some old Delius staples like "In A Summer Garden" and "The Walk to the Paradise Garden" get great readings as well. The Halle Orchestra (Barbirolli's own orchestra) and the London Symphony play great.
I think the important thing is to look at these recordings from more of a historical perspective. I would say this is a very important set for fans of Delius' orchestral music. While it certainly doesn't wipe away my impressions of Mackerras or Hickox, it is a very enjoyable listen. 4 1/2 stars"
A gorgeous collection
G.D. | Norway | 02/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a lovely selection of some standard Delius fare (and it complements the equally fine selection by Mackerras on a double-Decca issue rather nicely). That said, this is not the best version of Brigg Fair on disc (it seems to have caught the Hallé players and conductor on an off-day), sounding rather incoherent and even a little dull. But that is the only minor nitpick - the rest of the works come off superbly, both in the LSO and the Hallé performances. Indeed, this might just about be the best modern versions of those classic miniatures such as the Walk to the Paradise Gardens (though no one should miss an opportunity to hear the whole opera) and On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, played with immense attention to detail and with a gorgeously lush string sound. And the larger works, such as the Appalchia variations, are no less impressive in the warm and well-rounded performances here. In short, this is a superb release recommended for anyone interested in beautiful, charming, slightly wistful and thoughtful music. Of course, many would claim that most of these works are really Beecham property and that those older recordings are really unassailable. And maybe they are right, but there is no denying how much a warm and clear stereo sound adds to this music."