Richard Hickox conducts the City of London Sinfonia and Joyful Company of Singers in this third volume of works for chorus and orchestra, featuring three premiere recordings.
As a boy, Grainger was spell bound by Anglo-Saxon sagas and narrative poetry, and longed to write music inspired by that imaginative world, far removed from his antipodean origins. Notwithstanding this diversity of influence, the listener may nevertheless discern within Grainger’s total output a motivic and thematic unity. Indeed, certain themes and phrases having special significance for Grainger appear under several guises in quite disparate works. This may suggest that Grainger himself saw no inherent contradiction in choosing such a wide variety of sources - linguistic, cultural and ethnically unique - and that he lavished on all his sources the same respect and artistic striving. Grainger’s concern for the under-dog, his unfailingly democratic spirit, his compassion for the tragedy of the ordinary, suffering humanity and his belief in the transcendent power of love - all are reflected in his choice of texts and the trenchant musical originality with which he expresses those leading ideas of his approach to life.
"...The orchestra sounds thrilling indeed when Hickox lets them go. He is very, very good in this entire oeuvre. Notes and sound are up to Chandos’s best-state of the art. A great treat, recommended with pleasure."
Greenfield - American Record Guide - March/April 1999
"...With performances and recording well up to the standards of this sbsorbing series, this disc can be safetly recommended."
Calum MacDonald - Hi-Fi News & Record Review - March 1999
"...All Grainger lovers will want to add this to a huge and growing discography..."
The Delian - January 1999
Classic CD Choice
"The most varied and entertaining volume in the Chandos Grainger series thus far."
Terry Blain - Classic CD - December 1998