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CHAN 10120M
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CHAN 10120
(multiple CD Set)
Opera - The Poisoned Kiss

Vaughan Williams: The Poisoned Kiss

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2003

Originally recorded in 2003

Artists:

BBC National Orchestra of Wales


Richard Hickox


Neal Davies

baritone - Dipsacus

Roderick Williams

baritone - Gallanthus

Richard Suart

baritone - Gob

Mark Richardson

bass - Lob

Anne Collins

contralto - Empress Persicaria

Pamela Helen Stephen

mezzo-soprano - Angelica

Emer McGilloway

mezzo-soprano - Third Medium

Janice Watson

sloprano - Tormentilla

Gail Pearson

soprano - First Medium

Helen Williams

soprano - Second Medium

James Gilchrist

tenor - Amaryllus

John Graham-Hall

tenor - Hob

Adrian Partington Singers



Venue:

Brangwyn Hall, Swansea



Producer:

Brian Couzens



Engineer:

Ralph Couzens


Matthew Walker

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Opera




Total Time - 115:27
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Opera - The Poisoned Kiss

 

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

(1872-1958)
Select Complete Single Disc for
   
 

The Poisoned Kiss

115:59  
   
premiere recording
  An opera in three acts. Libretto by Evelyn Sharp and Ralph Vaughan Williams  
1 Overture 7:09
   
  Act I  
2 No. 2. Opening Chorus: 'Secret are the sounds . . .' 2:43
3 No. 3. Scena. Gallanthus: 'What's that?' 1:38
4 No. 4. Scena. Angelica: 'Day is dawning' 5:54
5 No. 5. Duet. Gallaanthus: 'It's really time . . .' 3:07
6 No. 6. Ensemble. Hob, Lob and Gob: 'Here we come . . .' 2:24
7 No. 7. Duet and Chorus. Dipsacus: 'I'm a sorcerer bold' 1:54
8 No. 8. Duet. Amaryllus: 'It's true I'm inclined . . .' 2:41
9 No. 9. Ensemble. Tormentilla: 'Hush, lovely cobra' 2:04
10 Amaryllus: 'Desist, lest you die!' 0:59
11 No. 10. Duet. Amaaryllus: 'I know we see . . .' 0:10
12 Amaryllus: 'Blue larkspur in a garden' 3:01
13 No. 11. Ensemble. Dispacus: 'Who's in my forest?' 0:15
14 Dispacus: 'North wind, south wind' 1:01
15 Tormentilla: 'Angelica?' 0:29
16 Amaryllus and Gallanthus: 'O come to our arms' 2:37
17 No. 12. Song. Tormentilla: 'O who would be . . .' 2:49
18 No. 13. Finale. Dipsacus: 'All is ready!' 3:10
   
  Act II  
19 No. 14. Introduction 1:04
20 No. 15. Chorus: 'Here we come' 1:47
21 No. 16. Song and Chorus. Angelica and flower girls: 'By all the powers . . .' 3:36
22 No. 17. Trio. Lob: 'Ho there!' 1:56
23 No. 18. Duet. Angelica: 'It does not appear . . .' 2:17
24 No. 19. Trio. Third Medium: 'If you want to escape' 3:02
   
  Act II (continued)  
25 No. 20. Chorus: 'Tormentilla! Tormentilla!' 2:23
26 No. 21. Song and Duet. Tormentilla: 'There was . . .' 5:40
27 No. 22. Ensemble. Amaryllus: 'Twas here it bade . . .' 4:08
28 No. 23. Serenade. Amaryllus: 'Dear love, behold . . .' 3:07
29 No. 24. Duet. Tormentilla: 'Sleeping or waking' 1:27
30 Tormentilla: 'You must not kiss me' 4:23
31 No. 26. Finale. Tormentilla: 'Too dark for me . . .' 2:56
   
  Act III  
32 No. 27. Introduction 1:13
33 No. 28. Trio. Mediums: 'Behold our mystic . . .' 3:25
34 No. 29. Ensemble. Empress: 'Monstrous vision!' 1:28
35 No. 30. Ballad. Empress: 'When I was young . . .' 2:48
36 No. 31.Ensemble. Empress: 'You can leave us' 0:43
37 No. 32. Duet. Tormentilla: 'Is my love alive?' 0:28
38 Empress: 'Love breaks all rules . . .' 3:25
39 No. 33. Invocation. Empress: 'Imps and Demons' 2:24
40 No. 34. Ensemble. Empress: 'Come, O gentle powers' 5:36
41 No. 35. Duet. Empress: 'Can you, can you remember' 2:40
42 No. 36. Quartet. All: 'Love in a hut . . .' 1:21
43 No. 37. Sextet. First Medium: 'Horrid monster!' 2:36
44 No. 38. Duet. Gallanthus: 'It's the proper thing to do' 1:58
45 No. 39. Finale. Chorus: 'Love has conquered!' 3:31
   
  Cast (in order of appearance)  
 Pamela Helen Stephen mezzo-soprano - Angelica
 Roderick Williams baritone - Gallanthus
 John Graham-Hall tenor - Hob
 Richard Suart baritone - Gob
 Mark Richardson bass - Lob
 Neal Davies baritone - Dipsacus
 James Gilchrist tenor - Amaryllus
 Janice Watson sloprano - Tormentilla
 Gail Pearson soprano - First Medium
 Helen Williams soprano - Second Medium
 Emer McGilloway mezzo-soprano - Third Medium
 Anne Collins contralto - Empress Persicaria
  Chorus of Day and Night Voices, Hobgoblins, Witches and Forest Creatures, Milliners and Messenger Boys, Flower Girls, Lovers  
 Richard Hickox
  3-6 January 2003  
This is the premiere recording of Vaughan Williams’s opera The Poisoned Kiss.

This romantic extravaganza contains some of the composer’s finest music, and a sense of fun runs throughout the delightful score.

Both James Gilchrist and Janice Watson have sung on previous award-winning Chandos opera recordings to great acclaim: James Gilchrist in the title role in Albert Herring and Janice Watson as Ellen in Peter Grimes.

Richard Hickox is famous for his championship of British twentieth century music, and is a conductor with a special affinity for the music of Vaughan Williams. His award-winning recordings of the composer’s work for Chandos are now generally cited by critics as top choice for the repertoire.


This recording is also available as a surround sound hybrid SA-CD


"The libretto for The Poisoned Kiss originated in a short story, The Poison Maid, by Dr Richard Garnett, which was, in turn, derived from a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Richard Garnett’s piece takes up Hawthorne’s notion of a beautiful maiden who lives on poisons, but invests it with a gentle irony that is both engaging and humorous. The story ends happily for ‘the kiss of love is the remedy for every poison’.

Vaughan Williams began writing The Poisoned Kiss, his fourth opera, in 1927. He was also working on Sir John in Love and had begun sketching the first scenes of Job. He was at the height of his musical powers, yet The Poisoned Kiss has remained unperformed, unrecorded and unknown.

The reason for this neglect lies mainly in the rather dated text and the lengthy sections of spoken dialogue (some of which is omitted in this recording). It did not help that the composer and the librettist were uncertain about the balance between comedy and drama in the opera, a dilemma that led to major revisions of the work by Vaughan Williams in 1936 and again in 1956–57. In the final version the composer’s lyricism dominates the humour and we are treated to an extraordinary wealth of expressive and heart-felt music which does not deserve to be ignored.
"

The music is enchanting, a mixture of parodies together with waltzes and tangos. An inspiration seems to have been The Beggars Opera and of course folk-song. It is VW at his most lyrical and endearing… The cast give every indication of having enjoyed their acquaintance with the score… The recording is superb and Chandos are to be thanked for filling the major gap in the VW discography.
Sunday Telegraph

'Praise to the conductor Richard Hickox and the orchestra, who give this work an ideal performance, right from the sensational overture.'
American Record Guide

'Hickox has already shown that The Pilgrim's Progress and Sir John in Love can work and here brings out the best in The Poisoned Kiss.'
BBC Music Magazine

A new record of Vaughan Williamss Falstaffian opera makes one wonder why it has been so neglected… An absolute delight.
BBC Music Magazine ‘Pick of the Month’ on CHAN 9928(2) (Sir John in Love)

''but meanwhile, Chandos' recording should provide hours of pleasure and not merely to Vaughan Williams 'train-spotters'. A sumptuous Chandos recording as usual.'
Gramophone

…Hickoxs performance is a convincing affirmation of the scores power, and certainly outdoes the only other complete recording in the catalogue…
The Guardian ‘Classical CD of the Week’ on CHAN 9625(2) (The Pilgrim’s Progress)

Praise to the conductor Richard Hickox and the orchestra, who give this work an ideal performance, right from the sensational overture.
American Record Guide

…exhilarating recording…
BBC Music Magazine ‘The Best CDs of 1998’ on CHAN 9625(2) (The Pilgrim’s Progress)

'but meanwhile, Chandos recording should provide hours of pleasure and not merely to Vaughan Williams train-spotters. A sumptuous Chandos recording as usual.
Gramophone

Hickox has already shown that The Pilgrims Progress and Sir John in Love can work and here brings out the best in The Poisoned Kiss.
BBC Music Magazine

'The music is enchanting, a mixture of parodies together with waltzes and tangos. An inspiration seems to have been The Beggar's Opera and of course folk-song. It is VW at his most lyrical and endearing… The cast give every indication of having enjoyed their acquaintance with the score… The recording is superb and Chandos are to be thanked for filling the major gap in the VW discography.'
Sunday Telegraph

The Opera may have a rather twee feel, but there is too much good music to leave it neglected. Hickox makes as good a case for the piece as can be imagined. Well worth exploring.'
Gramophone Editor's Choice

The Opera may have a rather twee feel, but there is too much good music to leave it neglected. Hickox makes as good a case for the piece as can be imagined. Well worth exploring.
Gramophone 'Editor's Choice'



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