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Classics (mid-price series)

Re-issued, re-mastered, mid-price recordings

Launched in October 2002, 'Classics' is a mid-price label that has become the main reissue label for Chandos. All releases are 24-bit digitally remastered and recoupled for maximum value, and include three-language notes and texts where appropriate.

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Elgar: The Black Knight, Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands

Elgar: The Black Knight, Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands


Elgar:

The Black Knight, Op. 25

Scenes (6) from the Bavarian Highlands, Op. 27


Richard Hickox brought these two neglected works into the record catalogue to critical acclaim. In an Editor’s Choice review in 1996 – the year of its release – Gramophone stated: ‘Elgar completed The Black Knight in 1893 and it provided him with his first big success. The text tells of a sinister, unnamed ‘Prince of mighty sway’, whose appearance at the King’s court during the feast of Pentecost has disastrous consequences. Elgar’s score boasts much attractive invention, some of it strikingly eloquent and prescient of greater offerings to come. The choral writing is always effective, the orchestration already vivid and assured.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Chandos Classics - The Hickox Legacy - CHAN10946X

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Richard Hickox conducts Holst

Richard Hickox conducts Holst


Holst:

St Paul's Suite, Op. 29 No. 2

Brook Green Suite

Double Concerto, Op. 49

Andrew Watkinson (violin) & Nicholas Ward (violin)

A Fugal Concerto, H152 Op. 40 No. 2

Duke Dobing (flute) & Christopher Hooker (oboe)

Lyric Movement

Stephen Tees (viola)

Two Songs without Words, Op. 22


This 1994 recording is one of the first Holst collections made by Hickox and the City of London Sinfonia. An orchestra he conducted for thirty seven years, until his death. Having brought neglected works by Holst to a more deserved fame in the early 1990s, Hickox returned to Holst in 2007, embarking on a new series with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He was recording what would have been the second volume of this new survey when he was suddenly taken ill. While he was never able to finish that second volume himself, the first instalment was released in January 2009 on SACD (CHSA 5069) and seen as a recording triumph.

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Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45

Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45


This reissue is a moving experience in itself, and not only for returning to the catalogue a superlative recording of Brahms’s masterpiece, not the best known at the time of its release in 1991, but also for the exceptional soloists, majestically accompanied by Hickox and his LSO and Chorus. Gramophone praised the ‘fine soloists’, especially the ‘resonance and ease’ of the bass baritone, David Wilson-Johnson. The review also acclaimed the ‘sheer generosity of style and sound’ as well as the choir and orchestra, ‘excellent and wellbalanced, both in themselves and with each other’. Overall, the ‘Hickox gives a remarkably satisfying performance’. Despite its large-scale conception, Brahms’s Requiem remains the product of a very private world, the personal communication of the philosophy of one man, ‘such a great soul – and yet he doesn’t believe in anything’, as Dvorák once remarked.

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Walton: The Bear

Walton: The Bear


Sir William Walton wrote two operas, the second – The Bear – far more readily acclaimed than the first, and more often performed. Its premiere took place in Aldeburgh in June 1967 as part of the twentieth Aldeburgh Festival, and followed the disastrous reception of Walton’s first opera, Troilus and Cressida, a piece seen as too traditional for the taste of those austere post-war times. So second time round Walton was taking no chances: everything in The Bear is on a modest scale: a chamber opera in one act, for three singers only, no chorus, and the orchestra is chambersized, with a small number of strings (originally solo players). Not only did this specific recording bring the piece to fame but it also proved a revelatory disc for the soloists, Della Jones, Alan Opie, and John Shirley- Quirk, who would go on to become multi-award-winning soloists and whose achievements in British music would become increasingly successful.

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Holst: Orchestral Works

Holst: Orchestral Works


Holst:

A Fugal Overture, H151 Op. 40 No. 1

A Somerset Rhapsody, Op.21 No. 2

Scherzo for Orchestra, H192

Egdon Heath, a homage to Thomas Hardy, Op.47

Hammersmith - Prelude and Scherzo, H178, Op. 52

Capriccio, edited Imogen Holst


This 1994 Holst collection is another recording with the London Symphony Orchestra under its then Associate Guest Conductor, Richard Hickox.

Re-issued at ‘classic Chandos’ price, it is a must-have for any fan of or newcomer to Holst, offering both familiar and unfamiliar works. Gramophone complimenting Hickox’s ‘sweetly expressive, songful manner’ and adding that ‘Hickox and the LSO make a spirited showing... the Chandos engineering is typically sumptuous throughout.’

Richard Hickox returned to Holst in 2007, embarking on a new series, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He was recording what would have been the second volume of this survey when he was suddenly taken ill. Though that disc now will never be finished, the first instalment was released in January 2009 on SACD (CHSA5069) and seen as a recording triumph, presenting neglected works advocated by a legendary conductor.

“Punchy, in-your-face accounts, in turbo charged sound.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2016 ***

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Chandos Classics - The Hickox Legacy - CHAN10911X

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Ireland: Orchestral Works

Ireland: Orchestral Works


Ireland:

A Downland Suite

arr. Ireland and Bush

Orchestral Poem

Concertino Pastorale

Two Symphonic Studies

arr. Bush


In 1971, Richard Hickox founded the Richard Hickox Orchestra, which in 1979 became the City of London Sinfonia. Fifteen years later he made this highly praised recording of orchestral works by John Ireland, now made available at ‘classic Chandos’ price.

Gramophone featured this recording in its 2010 Classical Music Guide, stating in its original review that ’Chandos have been doing John Ireland proud over the last few years, and Richard Hickox’s new anthology is well up to the high standards of previous instalments in this valuable series. With rich, refined Chandos sound, this remains a most enjoyable collection... Hickox gives a sensitive account of the Downland Suite and extracts great expressive intensity from the glorious second movement “Elegy”. The Concertino Pastorale is another fine work, boasting a most eloquent opening “Eclogue” and tenderly poignant “Threnody”, towards the end of which Ireland seems to allow himself a momentary recollection of the haunting opening phrase of his earlier orchestral prelude, The Forgotten Rite.‘

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Chandos Classics - The Hickox Legacy - CHAN10912X

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Delius: Orchestral Works

Delius: Orchestral Works


Delius:

The Walk to the Paradise Garden

Dance Rhapsody No. 1

Dance Rhapsody No. 2

In a Summer Garden

North Country Sketches


Recorded in Bournemouth in 1994, this album, highly recommended by the Penguin Guide a year later, is now re-issued at ‘classic Chandos’ price.

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra playing under the baton of Richard Hickox, Delius’s palette of colours shines through once again. Hickox was indeed a sensitive and flexible Delian and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra responded passionately to him from the start: their collaboration began with famous performances of the first ever complete cycle of Vaughan Williams’s symphonies in London. Especially in ‘The Walk to the Paradise Garden’ – a highlight here – the collection demonstrates the glittering qualities of Delius’s enchanting musical world, which evokes an atmosphere of serene pleasure in nature.

“Vividly coloured.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2016 ***

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Chandos Classics - The Hickox Legacy - CHAN10913X

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Tippett: A Child of Our Time

Tippett: A Child of Our Time


Cynthia Haymon (soprano), Cynthia Clarey (contralto), Damon Evans (tenor) & Willard White (bass)

London Symphony Chorus & London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox

Our re-release of the 1992 recording of Tippett’s A Child of Our Time is Disc of the Month in this new wave of additions to Chandos’ ongoing Hickox Legacy series.

Recreating in contemporary terms a traditional form in Western music, one that goes back to the Lutheran Passions of J.S. Bach and the great Old and New Testament oratories of Handel, and drawing on the familiar musico-dramatic conventions of the genre – recitative, aria, ensemble, chorus, chorale, and the continuous presence of the orchestra – Tippett both re-affirms and transforms the genre. The most striking and brilliant transformation is the composer’s choice of the Negro Spiritual in place of the congregational hymn.

This oratorio, composed between 1939 and 1941 and premiered in 1944, was born out of a very personal sense of human deprivation and hardship; during the hard times in England in the thirties Tippett had shared his choral craft with community workers, and during the war he inspired unemployed professional musicians and amateurs as a choral and orchestral conductor at Morley College.

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Vaughan Williams: Riders to the Sea

Vaughan Williams: Riders to the Sea


Vaughan Williams:

Riders to the Sea

Ingrid Attrot (soprano), Lynne Dawson (soprano), Linda Finnie (mezzo-soprano), Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo-soprano) & Karl Daymond (baritone)

The Sinfonia Chorus

Household Music

Flos Campi

Philip Dukes (viola)


As he proved with his recording of A London Symphony – Record of the Year, Gramophone Awards 2001 – Richard Hickox was a Vaughan Williams specialist. This reissue of an original 1995 recording features such lesser known works from the composer as Household Music and Flos Campi.

Alternating between the passionate and the tortured, between long-breathed lyricism and moments of obvious pain, Flos Campi has never really found itself in the mainstream concert repertoire, maybe because of its title, misleadingly suggesting jolly music. Household Music has equally suffered from its title, rather an off-hand one for pieces that at their best show the composer’s brilliance as an arranger. Riders to the Sea, however, is a masterpiece, seen as the finest as well as the most concentrated of Vaughan Williams’s works for the stage, conjuring up multiple layers of emotional response to the natural world, a losing battle with the sea, and the God which rules it, for the islanders in the North Atlantic.

“A one-act opera based on the play of the same name, Riders to the Sea is a straightforward tragedy that pits helpless humans against the remorseless sea of Galway Bay. Richard Hickox leads the Northern Sinfonia and Chorus; Ingrid Attrot is starkly compelling as Maurya, the central character who faces disaster and loss at the hands of the merciless waves.” Presto Classical, June 2014

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

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Delius: Sea Drift, Songs of Farewell & Songs of Sunset

Delius: Sea Drift, Songs of Farewell & Songs of Sunset


Delius:

Sea Drift

Sally Burgess (mezzo-soprano)

Songs of Farewell

Songs of Sunset

Bryn Terfel (baritone)


Waynflete Singers, Southern Voices, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Richard Hickox

This set of Delius’s masterpieces conducted by Hickox was recorded in 1993 and won a Gramophone Award in the choral category the following year, also the Penguin Guide ranking it in the 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings, stating that ‘in this second recording of Delius’s masterpieces Hickox finds even more magic, again taking a spacious view - which keeps the flow of the music going magnetically’.

Both Sea Drift (1903-04) and Songs of Sunset (1906-07) belong to the fertile decade following the turn of the century when Delius had assumed complete maturity and was producing a string of masterpieces. If in Sea Drift it is the emotions of bereavement in the wake of tragedy that are explored, in Songs of Sunset it is the brevity of life as epitomised by the work’s original title, Songs of Twilight and Sadness.

By the time he created Songs of Farewell (1929-30), Delius was blind, crippled and helpless. As a composer he had been mute since the early 1920’s, until the offer from a young musician, Eric Fenby, to be his amanuensis kindled the sparks of creativity once more. Songs of Farewell, for double chorus and orchestra, was the finest achievement of this late harvest.

Building a Library

Also Recommended - March 2016

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Chandos Classics - The Hickox Legacy - CHAN10868X

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