Susan Gritton

Soprano

Susan Gritton

The English soprano, Susan Gritton, was the winner of the 1994 Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Prize, and read botany at Oxford and London Universities before taking up a career in singing.

In 1994 Susan Gritton made her solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall with Eugene Asti where she has also appeared with Graham Johnson in the International Songmakers series. She appears regularly in recital throughout Britain, including Lichfield, Arundel, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Harrogate and City of London Festivals, the Purcell Room and the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

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Handel: Solomon

Handel: Solomon


2 CD box with sung texts and French translation

Handel was 63 years-old when he composed 'Solomon', one of his final masterpieces. It caused the composer serious financial difficulties in 1749 on account of the exceptional forces it required – but under the baton of Daniel Reuss, it finds a crack British cast devoted to its noble cause. This monumental oratorio depicts the three highpoints of the biblical king’s life: the building of the temple, the famous judgment, and the visit of the Queen of Sheba.

“With Sarah Connolly and Caroline Sampson appearing for the prosecution, it doesn’t require the judgement of Solomon to predict a favourable outcome.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 ****

Harmonia Mundi HMHeritage - HMY292194950

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.75

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Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626

Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626

Levin Edition


Susan Gritton (soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (contralto), Timothy Robinson (tenor) & Peter Rose (bass)

Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras

Originally released in 2003, ‘Mozart: Requiem (Levin Edition)’ has been re-issued as part of Linn’s ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label’s award-winning catalogue.

This recording of Mozart's Requiem uses the score prepared by Harvard professor Robert Levin, aiming to improve on Franz Süssmayr's familiar edition by making the music closer to what Mozart might have written.

Upon release this recording was named a ‘Benchmark Recording’ by BBC Music Magazine and was exceptionally well received by the critics.

Conrad Wilson described a live performance as ‘stark and sombre, yet shot through with sudden flashes of light…presented with the highest clarity with the SCO Chorus in deep incisive voice, and with... An expressive team of soloists.’

Mackerras was the SCO’s Conductor Laureate until his passing in 2010. He produced numerous award winning recordings including BBC Music Magazine’s 2010 ‘Disc of the Year’ recording, ‘Mozart Symphonies 38-41’ with the SCO and Linn. Mackerras performed fifty times at the Edinburgh Festival and in 2005 was the first recipient of the ‘Queen’s Medal for Music’.

2014 is the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s fortieth anniversary year; the orchestra has a large UK-based fan base following performances throughout Scotland and regular appearances at the Edinburgh, St Magnus and Aldeburgh Festivals, the BBC Proms and on BBC Radio 3.

Up to 25% off Linn

Linn ECHO - BKD211

(CD)

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Holst: Orchestral Works Volume 3

Holst: Orchestral Works Volume 3


Holst:

The Mystic Trumpeter, Op. 18

First Choral Symphony, Op. 41, H155

with BBC Symphony Chorus


This is our third CD devoted to orchestral works by Gustav Holst. The series was inaugurated by Richard Hickox who sadly passed away in 2009 after having completed only Volume 1. Fortunately, Chandos was able to secure the services of its exclusive artist the acclaimed conductor Sir Andrew Davis for the second volume. Now Sir Andrew turns to The Mystic Trumpeter and the First Choral Symphony, this time conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Grammy-nominated soprano Susan Gritton. Composed originally in 1904 and revised in 1912, The Mystic Trumpeter received only two performances in Holst’s lifetime, and it was not revived until 1980. Holst based the work on a poem from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and the influence of Hindu thought is clearly present throughout. Holst drafted the First Choral Symphony in 1923. The work received a mixed reception at the time, to some extent provoked by the highly varied and non-sequential choice of texts, all by Keats. The poetic variety is reflected in a score full of extremes of contrast. Holst himself said of this Symphony: ‘I think the work as a whole is the best thing I have written.’

“though beautifully shaped by Davis, Gritton and the BBC Symphony Chorus, it's not the unconvincingly structured and overlong symphony...but [The The Mystic Trumpeter] that makes the bigger impression...Gritton sings it ravishingly, too.” The Guardian, 17th October 2013 ****

“the chief asset...is soprano Susan Gritton's unaffected engagement with Holst's bright-eyed and full-hearted response to Whitman. Andrew Davis conducts a warm and idiomatic account.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2013 ****

“This is surely Holst's greatest work. Andrew Davis is fast becoming the most incisive and authoritative interpreter of British music and this wonderful recording is testimony...This is a musical treat which is a must for any lover of Holst and the British choral tradition.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2013

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos Holst Orchestral Works - CHSA5127

(SACD)

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Handel: Chandos Anthems Nos 5a, 6a & 8

Handel: Chandos Anthems Nos 5a, 6a & 8


Handel:

Chandos Anthem No. 8 'O come let us sing unto the Lord', HWV 253

Chandos Anthem No. 6 'As pants the hart of cooling streams', HWV 251b

Chandos Anthem No. 5 'I will magnify Thee', HWV 250a


Handel’s beautiful, intimate settings of liturgical texts written for the First Duke of Chandos are among his less well-known choral works—and are proved by this second volume from Trinity also to be among his loveliest. They are a perfect example of the composer’s English style heard in Acis & Galatea and oratorios such as Judas Maccabaeus.

The soloists on this recording include internationally acclaimed Handelians Susan Gritton and Iestyn Davies, and the young tenor Thomas Hobbs, whose warm, lyrical tone is perfect for this repertoire. Trinity College Choir Cambridge sing with their usual youthful exuberance tempered with elegance, style and precision, under the expert guidance of Stephen Layton.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“Layton directs his young singers with such a perfect control of texture and rhythm that there's no hint of stodginess” Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

“Layton has drilled his singers to perfection in this trio of Handel's Chandos Anthems, making every word distinct and every crisp consonant a taut springboard on which to propel Handel's irresistible rhythm...Thomas Hobbs is the stand-out soloist” The Observer, 8th July 2013

“It says much for Layton's skill that he has managed to retain their companionable intimacy despite super-sizing his own resources to a choir of more than 30 singers with orchestra to match...Layton is a peerless Handelian, master of the architecture, yet constantly alert to enlivening nuances that only seem obvious with hindsight.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2013 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

8th July 2013

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Hyperion - CDA67926

(CD)

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Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492


Gerald Finley (Figaro), Alison Hagley (Susanna), Andreas Schmidt (Count Almaviva), Renée Fleming (Countess Almaviva), Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Cherubino), Manfred Röhrl (Bartolo), Wendy Hillhouse (Marcellina), Robert Tear (Don Basilio), Donald Adams (Antonio), John Graham-Hall (Don Curzio), Susan Gritton (Barbarina)

Glyndebourne Festival Opera & London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink (conductor) & Stephen Medcalf (director)

Stephen Metcalf’s production of The Marriage of Figaro opened the new Glyndebourne Theatre in 1994. It is a story of the young engaged couple Figaro and Susanna, and the comedy of romantic fiascos involving the Count and Countess Almaviva, Dr Bartolo and his housekeeper Marcellina, the page Cherubino, and the gardener’s daughter, Barbarina.

SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH, FRENCH, GERMAN, SPANISH

189 MINS • ALL REGIONS • NTSC 4:3 • COLOUR • L-PCM STEREO

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Warner Classics Warner Vision - 2564646101

(Blu-ray)

$21.75

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Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 & 3 Pieces in Olden Style

Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 & 3 Pieces in Olden Style


Gorecki:

Three Pieces in the Old Style

Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs'

Susan Gritton (soprano)


Alto - ALC1204

(CD)

$6.50

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Brian: Symphony No. 1 'Gothic'

Brian: Symphony No. 1 'Gothic'


Susan Gritton (soprano), Christine Rice (mezzo-soprano), Peter Auty (tenor), Alastair Miles (bass) & David Goode (organ)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Concert Orchestra, The Bach Choir, BBC National Chorus of Wales, Brighton Festival Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus, Côr Caerdydd, Eltham College Boys’ Choir, Huddersfield Choral Society & London Symphony Chorus, Martyn Brabbins

On 17 July 2011 over 800 performers gathered in London’s Royal Albert Hall to give a rare performance of Havergal Brian’s Symphony No 1 in D minor—‘The Gothic’. Tickets for this Prom sold out within 24 hours, and so it gives us great pleasure to make this live recording available to all.

It’s a pretty phenomenal work. Responding to the challenge set by Sir Henry Wood, the composer has thrown just about every known orchestral instrument into the mix, then adding a double chorus of over 500, plus children’s choirs, for an hour-long Te Deum—the church’s blazing Hymn of Thanksgiving—which makes up the symphony’s finale.

Whether or not you were lucky enough to be there on the night, this is a recording not to be missed.

“As ideas tumble forth in Havergal Brian’s epic scheme, you cannot help admiring his fervour in getting it all down on paper. It remains one of the oddities of the English symphonic repertoire, but Martyn Brabbins and his legions of players and singers do it proud.” The Telegraph, 2nd December 2011 ****

“Hyperion's release is a perfect one, of a great event, a magisterial work and an encapsulation of the enormous difficulties of the project as a whole...[Brabbins emphasises] the kaleidoscopic variety of speeds, textures and invention in the score. Aided by Hyperion's sensational sound, details which barely registered before become crystal clear...I cannot recommend it strongly enough.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

“credit to Martyn Brabbins for overseeing a performance which emphatically does not play it safe: enabling the piece to be appreciated for a formal evolution as oblique and purposeful as is its emotional progression...the discreet but intent control exerted over the vast numbers leaves no doubt as to his conviction. That the capacity audience betrays so few sign of its presence says much in itself.” International Record Review, January 2012

“Where to begin? This is a hugely impressive record of a great performance, but I’m not convinced that this is great music. But you can’t help feeling thankful that once in a generation we’re given the chance to hear something of this magnitude and judge the results for ourselves” The Arts Desk, 11th February 2012

“the best [recording] yet. There's an ongoing buzz of Proms atmosphere that grips from start to finish; and the recorded sound succeeds phenomenally at somehow fitting Brian's hugest climaxes alongside the delicate scoring of other passages into a convincing perspective. Under Brabbins's forthright direction, even the work's poorer passages (and whatever Brian's fanatical supporters say, there are plenty) don't sprawl.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2012 ****

“This seems likely to become the top recommendation of this huge but strange symphony for many years to come...The BBC Proms is one of the few organisations which is capable of putting on a performance of this epic work, and I was thrilled to learn that Hyperion would be releasing it. It is well worth hearing.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 28th November 2011

Presto Disc of the Week

28th November 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2012

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67971/2

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $29.50

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Handel: Messiah

Handel: Messiah


DG Archiv Duo - 4779574

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.50

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Concertos and Cantatas for Christmas

Concertos and Cantatas for Christmas


Corelli:

Concerto grosso Op. 6 No. 8 in G minor 'fatto per la notte di Natale'

Manfredini, F:

Concerto grosso in C major, Op. 3 No. 12 'per il Santissimo Natale'

Scarlatti, A:

Cantata pastorale 'O di Betlemme altera'

Telemann:

In dulci jubilo, TWV 1:939

Vivaldi:

Concerto for strings 'Il riposo - per il Santissimo Natale', RV 270


Three popular favourites, Corelli’s gorgeous concerto for Christmas Eve, an idyllic Christmas concerto by Vivaldi, and Manfredini’s Concerto grosso are complemented by two little-known cantatas by Telemann and Scarlatti. Each of the Italian composers has his own voice, contrasting tremendously with the more rugged German style of Telemann. Susan Gritton is the soloist in Scarlatti’s cantata, described by Classic CD as ‘ravishing and ravishingly sung… worth anyone’s CD token’. This is a disc of intimate Christmas music, which will make an ideal stocking filler. As Classic CD wrote at the time of the original release, ‘This is a delightful addition to the Christmas market, and the careful selection of its items and superb recording ensure that, like the traditional puppy, it’s not just for Christmas’.

“This is period-instrument performance at its best” American Record Guide

“A mix of instrumental and vocal items adds particular attraction to Christmas Concertos and Cantatas. …Susan Gritton dispatches the wide intervals of her final aria with delectable nimbleness and athleticism.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 ****

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Chandos Classics - CHAN0754X

(CD)

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Gibbs - Odysseus

Gibbs - Odysseus


Dyson:

Four Songs for Sailors (1948) for chorus, strings, brass and timpani

Gibbs, C A:

Odysseus: Symphony in four movements (1937-8) for soprano and baritone soli, mixed chorus and orchestra

words by Mordaunt Currie

Susan Gritton (soprano) & Mark Stone (baritone)


Recorded at The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford, 24-25 November 2007

Dutton Epoch - CDLX7201

(CD)

$14.75

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