MacFarren, G: Robin Hood

Naxos: 8660306-07

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MacFarren, G: Robin Hood

Label:

Naxos

Catalogue No:

8660306-07
(8.660306-07)

Discs:

2

Release date:

26th Sept 2011

Barcode:

0730099030670

Length:

2 hours 38 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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MacFarren, G: Robin Hood


Nicky Spence, Kay Jordan, Magdalen Ashman, George Hulbert, Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks, John Molloy, Louis Hurst & Alex Knox

Victorian Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Ronald Corp

CD - 2 discs

$15.75

(also available to download from $14.00)

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George Macfarren was considered by many of his contemporaries as the greatest British dramatic opera composer since Purcell. Described by Edward J Dent as ‘very full of good fun and on the way to Sullivan’, Robin Hood is Macfarren’s masterpiece, one of an impressive roster of now neglected mid-nineteenth century British operas, notable for its fine ensemble scenes, witty motifs, and deft, imaginative orchestration. Victorian Opera’s recording of Wallace’s Lurline (8660293-94) was widely admired: ‘the opera and the performance are both a delight.’ (American Record Guide)

George Macfarren: Robin Hood

Overture

Act I: Introduction: Clang! Clang! It is a merry (Chorus)

Act I: Ballad: The hunters wake (Alice, Chorus)

Act I: Duet: When lovers are parted (Robin, Marian)

Act I: Trio: A dark and troublous time (Robin, Marian, Sheriff)

Act I: Ballad: True love (Marian)

Act I: Scena and Song: The monk within his cell (Sompnour)

Act I: Scena and Song: Be not severe (Allan, Robin, Chorus)

Act I: Ballad: Englishmen by birth (Robin)

Act I: Finale: May the saints protect

Act II Scene 1: Entr'acte

Act II Scene 1: Part Song: The wood, the wood (Outlaws)

Act II Scene 1: Robbery Scene: A good fat deer (Robin, Much, John, Sompnour)

Act II Scene 1: Ballad: The grasping Normans (Robin, Greenwood men)

Act II Scene 2: Scena: Hail happy morn (Marian)

Act II Scene 2: Ballad: From childhood's dawn (Sheriff)

Act II Scene 2: Duet: To the fair (Marian, Alice)

Act II Scene 3: Chorus: How bright is the day (Allan, Alice, Robin, Marian)

Act II Scene 3: Dances: Round dance and Tilting at the Quintain

Act II Scece 3: Scena: Hoodman blind (Villagers)

Act II Scene 3: Song: My own, my guiding star (Robin)

Act II Scene 3: Ensemble: Merry laughter (Sheriff, Marian, Alice, Allan, Company)

Act II Scene 3: Quintet: My heart from its terror (Marian, Alice, Robin, Allan, Sheriff)

Act II Scene 3: Finale: My children thus your lives (Sheriff, Company)

Act III Scene 1: Entr'acte

Act III Scene 1: Duet: Greatest plague on earth (Allan, Alice)

Act III Scene 1: Scena: My child has fled (Sheriff)

Act III Scene 1: Duet: To King Richard at once (Sheriff, Sompnour)

Act III Scene 2: Part Song: Now the sun has mounted (Citizens)

Act III Scene 2: Song: Sons of the greenwood (Marian, Greenwood men)

Act III Scene 3: Scena: Vain was the proud ambition (Robin, Marian, Chorus)

Act III Scene 4: Finale: Hark, to that doleful bell (Full company)

Act III Scene 4: Finale ultimo: We've made a slight mistake (Full company)

The Times

22nd October 2011

***

“Macfarren’s Romantic English opera Robin Hood has waited 150 years for a first recording, and though Ronald Corp’s Victorian Opera forces sometimes sound stretched, they capture its genial Merrie England swashbuckle...Connoisseurs of ripe Victoriana will adore it.”

International Record Review

November 2011

“Hulbert is a firm-voiced Sheriff of Nottingham, covering the vocal range successfully as a character less wicked than the one usually seen in films or in television productions of the story...This is a case of the whole being better than the parts, with that greatly owing to Macfarren's music...I am glad that I have heard it.”

BBC Music Magazine

December 2011

****

“Though intensely conservative [Macfarren] was nevertheless more than a mere pedant. His music recalls Mendlessohn and Weber, but with a four-square Englishness very like his younger contemporary Arthur Sullivan...[Robin's] swashbuckling is mostly vocal; Nicky Spence carries it off with cheerful style, if not quite enough heft...Under Ronald Corp, the orchestra reveals a bright, attractive piece.”

Gramophone Magazine

January 2012

“Nicky Spence is splendid as Robin Hood: vigorous in the ballad 'Englishmen by birth', he is eloquent in the beautiful 'My own, my guiding star', his manner recalling Richard Lewis...Ronald Corp clearly loves this music; and if there's a touch of am-dram about the chorus, well, it's all part of the fun.”

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