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CHAN 5111M
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CHAN 5111
(multiple CD Set)

Elgar: The Starlight Express

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2012

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz

Originally recorded in 2012

Artists:

Scottish Chamber Orchestra


Sir Andrew Davis


Roderick Williams

baritone (Organ-grinder/Gardener)

Simon Callow

narrator

Elin Manahan Thomas

soprano (Laugher/Jane Anne)

Venue:

Usher Hall, Edinburgh


Studio 80a, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London



Producer:

Brian Pidgeon



Engineer:

Ralph Couzens


Jonathan Cooper

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Vocal & Song


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 137:15
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EDWARD ELGAR

(1857-1934)
   
  premiere recording in this version  
 

The Starlight Express, Op. 78

86:03  
  Incidental Music  
   
  Act I 20:29      
1 1 Song (organ-grinder) 'To the Children'. Allegro non troppo - Moderato - Tempo I - Più mosso - 5:55
   
  Scene 1  
2 'In the village of Bourcelles…' 1:37
3 2 Allegretto 0:30
4 3 Lento 0:42
5 4 [ ] 0:32
6 5 Allegretto 0:33
7 6 Moderato - Molto animato - Allegro - A tempo allegro 1:22
8 7 Lento 1:48
9 8 Allegretto 0:15
10 9 Allegro 0:37
11 10 [ ] 0:42
  Peter Thomas violin  
12 11 Allegro molto 1:14
13 12 Lento 0:53
14 13A [Andante] 0:38
15 13B [Andante] 1:32
16 14 Andantino 1:33
   
  Act II 37:30      
17 15 Song (Organ-grinder) 'The Blue-eyed Fairy'. Allegro 3:22
   
  Scene 1  
18 16 Allegro non troppo 1:06
19 17 Moderato - Lento - Allegro - Lento - Più lento - 1:18
20 18 Song (Organ-grinder) 'The sun has gone'. Allegretto - Lento - Allegro - Allargando 4:38
21 19 Andantino 2:01
22 20A Lento - Quasi recitative - Lento 1:15
  Peter Thomas violin  
23 20B Allegro 0:21
  Peter Thomas violin  
24 21 Lento 1:01
25 22 Allegro 0:33
26 23 Allegro molto 0:19
27 24 [ ] 0:12
28 25 [ ] 0:15
29 26 Song (Laugher) 'I'm ev'rywhere'. Presto 0:48
30 27 Allegro 0:13
31 28 [ ] 0:27
32 29 Song (Organ-grinder) 'Wake up, you little Night Winds!' Allegro non troppo 1:29
33 30 Dance of the Winds. Moderato - Lento - Brillante - Lento 2:20
34 31 Moderato 0:43
35 32 Lento 1:06
  Peter Thomas violin  
36 33 Sun Dance. Presto 2:45
   
  Scene 2  
37 34 Adagio 1:06
  Peter Thomas violin  
38 34A Song (Gardener) 'Dandelions, Daffodils'. [ ] 0:52
39 35 Andante - 1:14
40 36 Allegretto 1:04
   
  Scene 3  
41 37 Più lento 1:18
  Peter Thomas violin  
42 38 Song (Laugher) 'O, Stars Shine Brightly'. Allegro moderato - Andante 3:16
  Peter Thomas violin  
43 39 Adagio 0:48
  Peter Thomas violin  
44 40 Allegro 0:18
45 41 Song (Laugher) 'Dawn Song'. Allegro 1:09
   
  Act III 28:47      
46 42 Song (Organ-grinder) 'My old tunes'. Allegro - [Più lento] - Poco più lento - Tempo I - [Più lento] 4:14
   
  Scene 1  
47 43 Song (Jane Anne) 'Dandelions, Daffodils'. [ ] 1:15
48 44 [ ] 1:11
49 45 Lento - Più mosso - Più lento - Più lento - 1:09
50 46A [ ] 0:34
51 46B Tempo di valse 3:34
   
  Scene 2  
52 47 Lento - Allegro - Poco sostenuto - Moderato e grazioso - Moderato - Moderato - 7:45
  David Watkin cello  
53 48 Andante - Allegretto 2:37
54 49 Moderato - Animato - Moderato - 2:08
55 50 Finale. Duet (Laugher and Organ-grinder) 'Hearts must be soft-shiny dressed'. [ ] - L'istesso tempo - 2:44
56 ['The First Nowell'.] Grandioso 1:33
 Elin Manahan Thomas soprano (Laugher/Jane Anne)
 Roderick Williams baritone (Organ-grinder/Gardener)
 Simon Callow narrator
 

CLIVE CAREY

(1883-1968)
premiere recording
 

Three Songs from 'The Starlight Express'

6:03  
  Orchestrated by Sir Andrew Davis  
57 I The Organ-grinder's Song. Andante comodo 3:07
58 II The Dustman's Song. Tranquillo e misterioso 1:39
59 III The Gardener's Song. Allegretto fantastico 1:17
 Roderick Williams baritone (Organ-grinder/Gardener)
 

EDWARD ELGAR

premiere recording
 

Suite from 'The Starlight Express'

44:57  
  Arranged by Sir Andrew Davis  
60 1 1. Song (Organ-grinder) 'To the Children'. Allegro non troppo - Moderato - Tempo I - 6:16
61 2 14. Andantino 1:33
62 3 15. Song (Organ-grinder) 'The Blue-eyed Fairy'. Allegro 3:16
63 4 18. Song (organ-grinder) 'The sun has gone'. Allegretto - Lento - Allegro - Allargando 4:51
64 5 19. Andantino 2:04
65 6 21. Lento 0:29
66 7 22. Allegro 0:23
67 8 26. Song (Laugher) 'I'm ev'rywhere'. Presto 0:45
68 9 29. Song (Organ-grinder) 'Wake up, you little Night Winds!' Allegro non troppo 1:20
69 10 30. Dance of the Winds. Moderato - Lento - Brillante - Lento 2:23
70 11 32. Lento 0:50
  Peter Thomas violin  
71 12 33. Sun Dance. Presto 2:34
72 13 35. Andante - 1:14
73 14 36. Allegretto 1:05
74 15 38. Song (Laugher) 'O, Stars Shine Brightly'. Allegro moderato - Andante 3:20
  Peter Thomas violin  
75 16 41. Song (Laugher) 'Dawn Song'. Allegro 1:04
76 17 42. Song (Organ-grinder) 'My old tunes'. Allegro - [Più lento] - Poco più lento - Tempo I - [Più lento] 4:02
77 18 43. Song (Jane Anne) 'Dandelions, Daffodils'. [ ] 0:55
78 19 49. Moderato - Animato - Moderato - 2:04
79 20 50. Finale. Duet (Laugher and Organ-grinder) 'Hearts must be soft-shiny dressed'. [ ] - L'istesso tempo - 2:46
80 ['The First nowell'.] Grandioso 1:34
 Elin Manahan Thomas soprano (Laugher/Jane Anne)
 Roderick Williams baritone (Organ-grinder/Gardener)
   
 Sir Andrew Davis
  28-31 May 2012 (musical numbers)  
  3 August 2012 (spoken narrative)  

Chandos CHAN 5111 (2)

Elgar: The Starlight Express - Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano), Roderick Williams (baritone), Simon Callow (narrator), Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis

The Starlight Express was adapted from a book by Algernon Blackwood, A Prisoner in Fairyland, for a theatre production in the West End during the First World War, with music by Sir Edward Elgar. Combining the usually contrasting elements of fairytale and melodrama, The Starlight Express depicts the fantasy world inhabited by a group of children, who possess a magical ‘starlight’ quality that has been lost by the adults around them. This is the most comprehensive recorded version of The Starlight Express to date, based on a new score prepared by the Elgar Edition, which has been adapted by the conductor Sir Andrew Davis.

Our recording includes, in place of the play, a detailed account of the story, penned by the conductor Sir Andrew Davis better to reflect the original book and our pattern of speech today. ‘All the music, excepting the songs and interludes, was designed as melodrama, and in some cases it is meaningless on its own’, explains Sir Andrew, continuing: ‘I have therefore taken the bold step of writing a narrative which is based partly on the play and partly on A Prisoner in Fairyland.’

Our narrator is the actor Simon Callow, known to an international audience for his roles in films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Shakespeare in Love. Callow was delighted to be approached, as he already knows and loves this music, having delivered the narrative in a specially recorded concert performance of the incidental music, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2007. The incidental music, complete with melodramatic passages which work in conjunction with the narrative, occupies all of Disc 1 and continues onto Disc 2. Then we have an extended suite of freestanding orchestral movements and songs.

As a bonus, we have included three songs which link directly to this work. When a staged version of Blackwood’s book was first proposed, in 1914, another young composer, Clive Carey, was commissioned to compose the incidental music; but the outbreak of war forced the cancellation of the original production. When the plans were next revived, Elgar was approached, and he enthusiastically completed the score. However, Clive Carey had already composed three songs, but they were never included in the final production. They have been orchestrated by Sir Andrew Davis for this recording, and are heard here for the very first time.

Our recording of The Starlight Express is performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis with two internationally acclaimed soloists: the soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and baritone Roderick Williams.



 “...This is a major addition to the Elgar discography.”

Ronaled E Grames – Fanfare – May/June 2013


 “I cannot recommend this particular disc highly enough... I cannot see how anyone with an ounce of imagination could fail to be moved by it: surely one of the most magical, charming pieces ever composed; here superbly delivered.”

 
EM Marshall-Luck – Spirited-The Gazette of the English Music Festival – December 2012
 

                       **** - Excellent album

Michel Fleury - Classica magazine - April 2013


“...The production is lavish and performances splendid... The SACD sound is quite unexcelled in my experience. It creates the atmosphere and ambience of the actual performances better than any other recording I’ve ever heard...”
 
John McKelvey – American Record Guide – March/April 2013 

                        **** - Good

Remy Franck - Pizzicato magazine - February 2013


                         Performance  *****      Recording ****

“... This is a very valuable addition to the Elgar discography.”

Calum MacDonald – BBC Music magazine – January 2012


“...lovingly played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and features the excellent baritone soloist Roderick Williams...”
 
Andrew Clark – Financial Times – 8-9 December 2012 

“...Elgar’s score is enchanting – and Davis and the SCO deliver it with evident affection.”

Hugh Canning – The Sunday Times (Culture Magazine) – 11 November 2012


“...Davis secures absolutely first-rate results from the Scottish CO. Elin Manahan Thomas’s light silvery soprano could hardly be more suited to the parts of the laughter and Jane-Anne, while Roderick Williams is in glorious voice throughout. Everything has been captured by the microphones with ingratiating amplitude, bloom and glow.”

Andrew Achenbach – Gramophone magazine – November 2012 


"...the songs are delivered with just the right lightness of touch by soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and baritone Roderick Williams. " ***

Andrew Clements - The Guardian - 26 October 2012





*****
R Couzens