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Yvonne Kenny

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Vaughan Williams: Complete Symphonies

Vaughan Williams: Complete Symphonies


Vaughan Williams:

Symphony No. 1 'A Sea Symphony'

for soprano, baritone, chorus and orchestra

Symphony No. 2 'A London Symphony'

Symphony No. 8 in D minor

Symphony No. 3 'A Pastoral Symphony'

Symphony No. 4 in F minor

Symphony No. 5 in D major

Symphony No. 6 in E minor

Symphony No. 7 'Sinfonia antartica'

Symphony No. 9 in E minor


Yvonne Kenny (soprano), Catherine Bott (soprano), Brian Rayner Cook (baritone), Roderick Elms (organ)

London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Bryden Thomson

Building a Library

Mid-Price Choice - April 2003

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHAN9087

(CD - 5 discs)

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George Dyson: The Canterbury Pilgrims

George Dyson: The Canterbury Pilgrims


Dyson:

The Canterbury Pilgrims

Overture: At the Tabard Inn

In Honour of The City of London


This re-release of The Canterbury Pilgrims forms part of the new Hickox Legacy commemorative series on Chandos Records, leading up to (and continuing beyond) the fifth anniversary, in Nov 2013, of the conductor's untimely death. The two-disc set is issued on the Chandos 241 label for the price of 1 CD.

The pioneering account of The Canterbury Pilgrims, a colourful but neglected work by Sir George Dyson, brilliantly depicts assorted characters from the prologues of Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales, while highlighting key aspects of Hickox’s recorded legacy: the championing of neglected repertoire in general, and British repertoire in particular, as well as his special affinity with choral music.

Dyson described The Canterbury Pilgrims as a work for ‘chorus, orchestra and three soloists’, placing the emphasis firmly on the chorus – appropriate, as the work gets much of its momentum and swagger from the dramatic and highly effective choral writing. In fact, the practical needs of the English choral movement lay at the very heart of this work. Dyson had been troubled by the fact that music of the past was exercising an increasing domination of the concert repertoire, and recognised that major English works such as Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony and Delius’s A Mass of Life were beyond most choral societies. The music that sprang from these concerns was uncomplicated, vivacious, and tuneful, and not surprisingly it proved an instant success with many choral societies.

When first released, this recording was well received by BBC Music Magazine, which wrote: ‘Chaucer’s amusingly ironic depictions and Dyson’s memorable tunes and imaginative orchestration are a winning combination. If you like Gerontius, Vaughan Williams and Ireland, you’ll like Dyson. Go out and buy this disc *****’.

Gramophone echoed the sentiment, particularly commenting on the quality of the sound: ‘This is a very fine recording… Every layer in the texture is exceptionally well defined and integrated, which is no mean feat when such elaborate forces – soloists, choir, and orchestra – are involved’

“This superb offering of a full-length cantata based on the Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales bears out its reputation as Dyson's masterpiece. It's a fresh, tuneful work, aptly exuberant in its celebration of Chaucer. Following the scheme of Chaucer's Prologue, the 12 movements, plus Envoi, present a sequence of portraits, deftly varying the forces used, with the three soloists well contrasted in their characterisations and with the chorus acting as both narrator and commentator, providing an emotional focus for the whole work in two heightened sequences, the sixth and twelfth movements, moving and noble portraits of the two characters who aroused Dyson's deepest sympathy, the Clerk of Oxenford and the Poor Parson of a Town. If the idiom is undemanding, with occasional echoes of Vaughan Williams's A Sea Symphony and with passages reminiscent of Rachmaninov's The Bells, the cantata sustains its length well. Outstanding among the soloists is Robert Tear who not only characterises brilliantly but sings with admirable fullness and warmth. The beautiful, fading close, when Tear as the Knight begins the first tale, moving slowly off-stage, is most atmospherically done. Yvonne Kenny and Stephen Roberts sing well too, but are less distinctive both in timbre and expression. The London Symphony Chorus sings with incandescent tone, superbly recorded, and the orchestra brings out the clarity and colourfulness of Dyson's instrumentation.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“the glory of the piece is the choruses, which are splendidly sung here...The splendid Chandos recording is fully worthy of the vibrant music-making here.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

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Chandos 241 - The Hickox Legacy - CHAN241-43

(CD - 2 discs)

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Berkeley, L: Ruth

Berkeley, L: Ruth

An opera in three scenes


Jean Rigby (mezzo-soprano), Mark Tucker (tenor), Yvonne Kenny (soprano), Claire Rutter (soprano), Roderick Williams (baritone)

Joyful Company of Singers, City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox

Premiere recording

“Much has changed for Lennox Berkeley on disc in the past couple of years thanks to the superb advocacy of Richard Hickox. When A DinnerEngagement was released (see above) we wondered how this scintillating jewel of a comic opera could have escaped the catalogue for 50 years. Now Ruth – just as fine – shows the religious side of Berkeley, stemming from his FourTeresa of Avila Poems written nine years earlier.
Ruth is based on the biblical story and was adapted by Eric Crozier. At the opening of the first of the three scenes, Naomi is returning dejected to her homeland with her two daughters- in-law after all have lost their husbands.
Ruth stays to support Naomi; after some resistance to Ruth as a foreigner, the workers on the estate of Boaz, a distant kinsman, are persuaded to allow her to work with them. The climax comes in the last scene, in which Ruth, urged by Naomi, cautiously offers herself to Boaz in marriage.
He accepts her, announces his decision to the people, and all ends with rejoicing.
Every detail of this touching story is depicted with typical Berkeley finesse; the set-piece arias are precisely focused and memorable, and the scoring is masterly. Hickox's pacing is consistently right. Jean Rigby as Ruth is charming but firm in resolve when needed and Yvonne Kenny is a dignified and vocally imposing Naomi.
Much of the drama is carried by these two women but all the roles are well cast and effective.
There are plenty of lively choruses for the reapers, projected with panache.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Chandos - CHAN10301

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Herbert Howells - Orchestral Works

Herbert Howells - Orchestral Works


Howells:

King's Herald

arranged for full orchestra and organ from the suite Pageantry

Paradise Rondel, Op. 40

Fantasia for cello and orchestra

Threnody for cello and orchestra

Pastoral Rhapsody

Procession, Op. 36

The B's, Op. 13 - suite for orchestra

Three Dances for violin and orchestra, Op. 7

In Green Ways, Op. 43


“A repackaging of music rarely heard in Howell's lifetime. Not on grounds of quality, surely: two movements for cello and orchestra, a characterful suite The B's, and a song-cycle In Green Ways are all worth resurrecting.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2005 ****

“The inspired suite, The Bs, celebrates the composer's musician friends and colleagues at the Royal College of Music at the beginning of the 1914-18 war...Hickox and the LSO are ardent and communicative advocates of all this fine music...A most attractive bargain reissue, joining together two equally desirable discs.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - July 2005

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Chandos 241 - CHAN241-20

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Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro

Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro


Mozart:

Le nozze di Figaro, K492

Sung in English (translation by Jeremy Sams)


Christopher Purves (Figaro), Rebecca Evans (Susanna), Yvonne Kenny (Countess), William Dazeley (Count), Diana Montague (Cherubino), Frances McCafferty (Marcellina), Jonathan Veira (Bartolo), John Graham Hall (Don Basilio), Graham Danby (Antonio), Sarah Tynan (Barbarina), Stuart Kale (Don Curzio)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, David Parry

The only recording of The Marriage of Figaro sung in English

“Parry's timing of the comedy here is impeccable, helped by light, clean textures and imaginative continuo-playing in recitatives, using fortepiano. Most of the principals have had long experience of singing their roles on stage” Penguin Guide, 2010 **/*

“a useful, straightforward reading” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3113

(CD - 3 discs)

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Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626

Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626


Yvonne Kenny (soprano), Sarah Walker (mezzo soprano), William Kendall (tenor), David Wilson-Johnson (baritone)

Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, English Chamber Orchestra, George Guest

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Chandos Classics - CHAN10208X

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Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier (highlights)

Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier (highlights)

Sung in English (translation by Alfred Kalisch)


Yvonne Kenny (Marschallin), Diana Montague (Octavian), Rosemary Joshua (Sophie), John Tomlinson (Baron Ochs), Andrew Shore (Faninal)

London Philharmonic Orchestra , Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Peter Kay Children's Choir, David Parry

“Parry paces the score most persuasively, and the orchestral sound is aptly sumptuous...Diana Montague is a winningly expressive Octavian, and Rosemary Joshua a sweet-toned Sophie.” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition **/***

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3022

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Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 1 'A Sea Symphony'

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 1 'A Sea Symphony'


“This is admirable for the conductor's musicality and an idiomatic solo soprano. The baritone is dry of timbre but never less than intelligent. Much warmer and more resonant that many rivals.” BBC Music Magazine, Proms 2007

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Chandos - CHAN8764

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Baroque Celebration

Baroque Celebration


Gluck:

Che faro' senza Euridice? (from Orfeo ed Euridice)

Sung in English as 'What is life to me without thee?’

Diana Montague (mezzo)

Handel:

Priva son d'ogni conforto (from Giulio Cesare)

Sung in English as 'Grief and woe all hope deny me’

Sarah Walker (mezzo)

Semele: Where'er you walk

Bruce Ford (tenor)

L'angue offeso (from Giulio Cesare)

Sung in English as 'Wounded, the serpent ne’er reposes’

Della Jones (mezzo)

I rage, I melt, I burn…O ruddier than the cherry (from Acis and Galatea)

John Tomlinson (bass)

Lascia ch'io pianga (from Rinaldo)

Sung in English as 'Hear thou my weeping’

Yvonne Kenny (soprano)

Domerò la tua fierezza (from Giulio Cesare)

Sung in English as ‘I shall tame your pride unbending’

James Bowman (countertenor)

Piangerò la sorte mia (from Giulio Cesare)

Sung in English as 'Flow, my tears’

Valerie Masterson (soprano)

Va tacito e nascosto (from Giulio Cesare)

Sung in English as 'How silently, how slyly’

Janet Baker (mezzo)

Frondi tenere e belle ... Ombra mai fù (from Serse)

Sung in English as 'May the Fates be kind...Under thy shade’

Della Jones (mezzo)

Samson: Honour and arms scorn such a foe

John Tomlinson (bass)

Son nata a lagrimar (from Giulio Cesare)

Sung in English as ‘Condemned to grieve and cry’

Sarah Walker, Della Jones (mezzos)

Da tempeste il legno infranto (from Giulio Cesare)

Sung in English as 'Stormy winds my ship had shaken’

Valerie Masterson (soprano)

Purcell:

Fairest Isle (from King Arthur)

I attempt from love's sickness to fly in vain (from The Indian Queen)


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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3078

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