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CHAN 10606
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CHAN 10606

Dove: Tobias and the Angel

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2010

Originally recorded in 2009

Artists:

David Charles Abell


Rodney Clarke

baritone - Ashmodeus

Omar Ebrahim

baritone - Tobit

James Laing

counter-tenor - Raphael

Hyacinth Nicholls

mezzo-soprano - Anna

Karina Lucas

mezzo-soprano - Sara

Maureen Brathwaite

soprano - Edna

Kevin West

tenor - Raguel

Darren Abrahams

tenor - Tobias

Venue:

St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London



Producer:

Seann Alderking


James Laing

(Executive)

Engineer:

Mike Hatch



Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Choir


Opera

Total Time - 75:06
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JONATHAN DOVE

(b. 1959)
   
premiere recording
 

Tobias and the Angel

75:18  
  Church opera in one act  
  Libretto by David Lan  
  In memory of Nicholas John  
  Libretto dedicated to Gergely Stewart and Balint Stewart  
1 Tobit: 'My name is Tobit' - 2:45
2 People in market: 'The king kills Jews' - 3:25
  with Tobit, Anna, Tobias  
3 Tobias: 'Or find out who is playing that tune?' - 5:03
  with People in market, Raphael, Raguel, Edna  
4 Sparrows: 'Time to get up!' - 4:55
  with Tobit, Tobias, Sara, Edna, Raguel  
5 Ashmodeus: 'What a delightful night, with a restful night' - 5:54
  with Raguel, Raguel's Men, Edna, Anna, Tobias, Tobit, Sara  
6 Anna: 'Without his eyes how can he work?' - 2:24
  with Tobias, Tobit, Raphael  
7 Raphael: 'What do you hear?' - 1:58
  with Tobias, Sara, Tobit  
8 The Trees: 'How hard is wood but slow is good' - 4:02
  with Tobias, Raphael, Sara, Tobit  
9 Raphael: 'Not even the mountains?' - 3:35
  with Tobias, The Mountain, Sara, Ashmodeus, Anna, Tobit  
10 Raphael: 'Descending a mountain there are many things to listen to' - 4:18
  with Tobias, The River, The Fish  
11 Raphael: 'What did the fish sing?' - 1:43
  with Tobias  
12 Raguel's Men: 'Master's house has an iron gate' - 2:13
  with Tobias, Raphael  
13 Tobias: 'So this is Ecbatane' - 2:49
  with Edna, Raguel  
14 Sara: 'You're welcome. Here's cheese' - 4:56
  with Tobias, Raphael, Raguel, Edna  
15 Guests: 'Hurrah!' - 4:45
  with Tobias, Sara, Raphael, Ashmodeus, Raguel's Men, Raguel, Edna  
16 Sara: 'Husband, come in' - 4:10
  with Tobias, Ashmodeus, Raphael, Guests, Raguel's Men, Edna, Raguel  
17 Sparrows: 'Time to get up!' - 5:38
  with Tobias, Raguel, Edna, Guests, Ashmodeus, Sara, Raphael, The Trees, Anna, Tobit  
18 Tobit: 'Ah!' - 6:12
  with Angels, Tobias, Sara, Raphael, Everyone  
19 Chorus: 'Turn to Him with your ears' 4:21
  with Ashmodeus, Tobit, Raphael  
   
  In Nineve  
 Omar Ebrahim baritone - Tobit
 Hyacinth Nicholls mezzo-soprano - Anna
 Darren Abrahams tenor - Tobias
 James Laing counter-tenor - Raphael
   
  In Ecbatane  
 Kevin West tenor - Raguel
 Maureen Brathwaite soprano - Edna
 Karina Lucas mezzo-soprano - Sara
 Rodney Clarke baritone - Ashmodeus
   
  Raguel's Men  
  Mensah Bediako  
  Simon Greenhill  
  George Ikediashi  
  Peter Snipp  
   
  Sparrows/The fish: Children's Chorus  
  People in market/The mountain/The river/Wedding guests: Adult chorus unison  
  People in market/The tree/Angels: Adult chorus satb  
   
  Choruses and Instrumental Ensemble  
 David Charles Abell
  6-8 November 2006  


Born on 18 July 1959, Jonathan Dove is one of Britain’s leading composers of opera, choral works, theatre, film, orchestral, and chamber music. His community opera Tobias and the Angel premiered in 1999 at Christ Church, Highbury Fields in London, was taken up in 2005 by the Young Vic / English Touring Opera during the refurbishment of the Theatre’s regular venue, and was the first opera performed at the newly revamped Young Vic in 2006. The libretto, by David Lan, is based on the Book of Tobit from the biblical Apocrypha. Dove has written more than twenty operatic works on a wide range of subjects and is the most performed contemporary opera composer in the UK.

The colourfully biblical story of Tobit, who is blinded after daring to give a fellow Jew a proper burial, and the ensuing adventures of his son, Tobias, is vividly portrayed. The story particularly appealed to the composer, who said: ‘The tale has a mystical aspect, but also the character of a Jewish folk-tale, especially the scene in which Tobias is threatened by a huge fish, kills it, and is instructed to take out its heart and gall – which turn out to have magical healing properties.’

Although the racial oppression and demonic possession which are part of this work are fully developed, it is undoubtedly one of Dove’s brightest, even serene, scores, possessing immense appeal and communicative power. The nine instruments of the orchestra provide plenty of colour, for example effectively evoking the Jewish elements of a klezmer band, and David Lan’s libretto does a masterly job in telling the story in an almost cinematic way. This is the work’s premiere recording.

“…All singers are excellent and strong; the important choral contributions are brilliantly rendered. Perhaps it is Laing who deserves special mention for the purity of his delivery and his clear attunement to his role.” “…The recording is miraculously present, and reproduces Dove’s often beautiful textures magnificently. One can hear all the various line of the opera’s poignant ending perfectly, and with a wonderful sense of perspective.  A memorable issue.”

Colin Clarke
 

Fanfare - January/February 2011

“…Chandos’ world premiere recording of  Tobias and the Angel under conductor David Charles Abell is a superb rendering of the Young Vic’s 2006 production”

Owen Mortimer
 

Opera Now - January-February 2011

“…Warmly recommended.”
                                                                                     

Rodney Miles
 

Opera - October 2010

"...it’s to Dove and Lan’s credit that the results are so, well, gorgeous, the musical journey from darkness to light full of humour and warmth..." "...The casting is near-perfect; Rodney Clarke’s demon suitably sinister, balanced by counter-tenor James Lang’s ethereal Raphael. Omar Ebrahim and Darren Abrahams really inhabit the roles of Tobit and Tobias, and the various other elements - children’s chorouses, accordian, organ and tuned percussion all fuse seamlessly."

Graham Rickson

theartsdesk.com - 24 July 2010

“…it is well produced and recorded…”
 

Peter Spaull

Liverpool Daily Post - 23 July 2010

                  Performance ****      Recording *****
“…It’s a spirited performance however, and excellently recorded.”

 

Stephen Johnson
 

BBC Music Magazine - September 2010

         ****

 

 

The Times - 31July 2010

                      “Editor’s Choice”
“…An outstanding release.”
                                                                  

Malcolm Riley
    

Gramophone - September 2010

“…the acting and singing is all top notch; and diction is crystal-clear. The choruses supply some particularly lovely moments, such as the trees’ chorale.”
                                                                       

Charlotte Gardner

Classic FM Magazine - August 2010

“…Even if on a CD so vividly recorded as this, one might be tempted to regret the loss of spirit the community involvement in the staged performances brings to this work, in its place we have impressive clarity of detail, revealing the absolute mastery of Dove’s score, his adept interweaving of so many varied influences and elements into a coherent and totally convincing whole. If a CD can be uplifting, this one certainly is."
                                                

Marc Rochester

International Record Review - July/August 2010




*****
M Caulfie