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HL 7535
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HL 7535

Holst: The Hymn of Jesus/Delius: Sea Drift & Cynara

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2013

Originally recorded in 2011


Hallé Orchestra

Frances Cooke

Richard Wilberforce

Mark Elder

Roderick Williams

Roderick Williams

- (baritone)

Hallé Choir

Halle Youth Choir


Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

15 Mar 2012

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

17 Mar 2011

Studios of BBC Mediacity, Salford

4 Feb 2012


Andrew Keener

Steve Portnoi


Simon Eadon

Steve Portnoi

Record Label


Vocal & Song

Total Time - 60:31
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DELIUS, F.: Mass of Life (A) / Prelude and Idyll (J. Watson, Wyn-Rogers, A. Kennedy, Opie, Bach Choir, Bournemouth Symphony, D. Hill)

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The Hymn of Jesus

1 Prelude 5:33
2 Hymn 16:22
 Frances Cooke
 Richard Wilberforce



Sea Drift

 Roderick Williams - (baritone)
 Frances Cooke


 Roderick Williams

Hallé HL 7535

Holst: The Hymn of Jesus; Delius: Sea Drift; Cynara – Roderick Williams, Hallé Choir, Hallé Youth Choir, Hallé Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder

Following unparalleled success with recordings of works for orchestra and choir – witness awards in recent years from both Gramophone and BBC Music – the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder present a compelling programme of evocative and rarely performed works which will be a valuable addition to the catalogue.

In The Hymn of Jesus Holst explores the connection between dancing and religious ritual in a highly concentrated and intense work. It combines musical techniques and thematic material to produce a large-scale work which is a highly evocative representation of the serenity and exaltation of mysticism.

Elder describes Delius’s enigmatic choral poem Sea Drift as a ‘masterpiece’, one he has long wanted to perform and record. Composed in 1903 to verses by Walt Whitman, it depicts, in wonderful music of great emotional intensity, an expression of grief and bereavement. Including some of the most ravishing music that Delius ever penned, Sea Drift stands as one of the most profound evocations of loss in British music.

Cynara also follows the theme of loss in a setting of texts by the poet Ernest Dowson, lamenting the loss of the mistress of the poet Horace in classical literature. With its yearning violin solo, overpowering sense of hedonistic melancholy, brief dance episode, and highly effective ending, it is a reminder of Delius at the height of his expressive powers, fortunately preserved.

The disc features the acclaimed British baritone Roderick Williams, a soloist at the height of his powers, in repertoire which is perfectly suited to his lyrical, dramatic, and musical expertise.

"... He [Mark Elder] also coaxes some magical playing from the Hallé players in the many instrumental solos in which Delius’s score abounds ..."

Piers Burton-Page - International Record Review - December 2013

                    Gramophone Choice - Vocal

"... a thrillingly fervent and superbly confident response from his meticulously prepared Hallé cohorts (the enthusiastic applause after this item [Holst’s  Hymm to Jesus] has been left in). Top-notch production values and exemplary annotations set the seal on an unmissable release."

Andrew Achenbach - Gramophone magazine - November 2013

                        Performance *****      Recording *****

"... Elder shows a Beecham-like mastery of tempo and flow ... Roderick Williams is an outstanding soloist ... These are excellently balanced live recordings (with applause) made in the Hallé’s Manchester home, the Bridgewater Hall... highly recommendable disc."

Anthony Burton - BBC Music magazine - December 2013

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