This England - Britten / Elgar / Vaughan Williams The Oregon Symphony & Carlos Kalmar
Interpret: The Oregon Symphony & Carlos Kalmar
Komponist: Edward Elgar (1857-1934), Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), Benjamin Britten
Das Album enthält Albumcover Booklet (PDF)
- Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
- 1Cockaigne, Op. 40, In London Town15:02
- Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958): Symphony No. 5 in D major
- 2I. Preludio: Moderato - Allegro - Tempo I11:57
- 3II. Scherzo: Presto misterioso05:12
- 4III. Romanza: Lento10:56
- 5IV. Passacaglia: Moderato10:15
- Benjamin Britten (1913-1976): Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from Peter Grimes, Opus 33a and b
- 6No. 1. Dawn03:50
- 7No. 2. Sunday Morning03:53
- 8No. 3. Moonlight04:54
- 9Peter Grimes: Passacaglia, Op. 33b06:53
- 10No. 4. Storm04:30
Info zu This England - Britten / Elgar / Vaughan Williams
The Oregon Symphony releases their second album with music director Carlos Kalmar at the helm. Entitled This England, the all-British record kicks off in grand style with Sir Edward Elgar's euphoric and energetic Cockaigne Overture. Essentially an urban tone poem, the street-smart music serves as a snappy appetizer of percussion and brass, painting many vivid images of a merrily bustling London.
What follows is a respite from city life in the form of Ralph Vaughan Williams' lush Symphony No. 5. Rather surprisingly, every single impressionistic movement begins and ends in gentle smoothness, a musical watercolor where melodies and chords and entire orchestral sections blend and bleed into each other with bittersweet beauty. Double-basses provide an undercurrent of warmth throughout the performance, as well as a solid foundation for the higher strings to sing and soar, especially for concertmaster Sarah Kwak, whose brief but dreamy solo in the gorgeous third movement is a single candle atop a dense, rich cake.
The album concludes with instrumental selections from Peter Grimes, the most successful opera Benjamin Britten ever wrote and arguably the most famous English opera ever written. What's not at all debatable is the Oregon Symphony's knockout performance of Four Sea Interludes & Passacaglia on this new recording. Violins set the stage for Britten's scene-changing music, introducing his first interlude with an ethereal melody that transforms into an unanswered question repeated over a beefy-yet-restrained orchestra, evoking the beauty of sunrise with a hint of warning. Sunday Morning, the second interlude, sharply depicts villagers as church-going automatons urged to action by bells and rollicking buoys through the pure, unadulterated magic of a 14-foot chime. And then there's interlude #3, simply titled Moonlight. Indeed, what a little moonlight can do. Deeply resonating string sections, a smattering of woodwinds, crisp percussive accents... So help me God, it just might be four of the most brilliant minutes ever written for orchestra.
These moonlit whitecaps are followed by Britten's Passacaglia - a disturbing interlude amongst interludes in which Joël Belgique's haunting viola creepily traces the unraveling mind of Peter Grimes. Percussive thuds and subterranean growls help to color the rough-and-tumble fisherman's desperately tragic situation with fairly dark shades of gray. The interludes end stormily, blowing the listener out of the proverbial water by chugging to a capsizing climax. Last year, the Oregon Symphony released their highly praised Music for a Time of War which (in addition to being a serious contender in next month's classical Grammy nominations) featured Britten's forceful Sinfonia da Requiem. That album, along with this newest release on the Pentatone label, showcase Kalmar and his band as supreme interpreters of Benjamin Britten's amazingly colorful brand of orchestral anxiety, inviting the listener to delve ever deeper into painful, yet rewarding, symphonic ambivalence.
The Oregon Symphony
Carlos Kalmar, conductor
is in his tenth season as music director of the Oregon Symphony. He was appointed to the post in 2003, and in 2011 his contract was extended through the 2014/15 season. He is also principal conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, and music director of the Spanish Radio/Television Orchestra in Madrid.
In the past, Kalmar has also served as music director of the Hamburg Symphony, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Vienna’s Tonkünstlerorchester and the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Germany.
Kalmar is a frequent guest conductor with major orchestras in North America, Europe and Asia including those of Baltimore, City of Birmingham, Boston, Bournemouth, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, The Hague (Residentie), Houston, Lahti, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Tampere, Toyko (Nipon Symphony), Ulster and Vancouver.
Because of his strong commitment to fresh programming, the Spring for Music Festival invited Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony to appear in its Carnegie Hall Festivals of 2011 and 2013.
His most recent recording, “Music for a Time of War” with the Oregon Symphony on the PentaTone label, received numerous critical accolades and hit the classical billboard charts. His previous recordings on the Cedille label include two 2008 releases with the Grant Park Orchestra, one of works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis and one featuring mezzo soprano Jennifer Larmore. His 2006 release of the Szymanowski, Martinů and Bartok Violin Concertos with the Grant Park Orchestra and Jennifer Koh was highly acclaimed, as was the 2003 release of the Joachim and Brahms Violin Concertos featuring Rachel Barton and the Chicago Symphony, and American Works for Organ and Orchestra featuring David Schrader and the Grant Park Orchestra (2002).
Carlos Kalmar was born in Uruguay to Austrian parents. He showed an interest in music at an early age and began studying violin at age 6. By age 15 his musical development led him to the Vienna Academy of Music, where he studied conducting with Karl Osterreicher. He makes his home in Portland, where he regularly hosts (and cooks) dinner parties for Symphony supporters.
The Oregon Symphony
Portland’s largest performing arts group, which was founded in 1896 as the Portland Symphony, is the oldest American orchestra west of the Mississippi. Major artists have worked with the ensemble throughout its history, including Otto Klemperer, Erich Leinsdorf, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Georges Enesco, Igor Stravinksy, Aaron Copland, Vladimir Horowitz, Rudolf Serkin, David Oistrakh, Pablo Casals, Yo-Yo Ma and many others. Since its first CD recording in 1987, the orchestra has gone on to record 19 CDs, the most recent two in SACD with the PentaTone label. Today its 76 musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director Carlos Kalmar, perform a full range of concerts – classical to pops, youth concerts to one-of-a-kind special events – for an audience that exceeds 225,000 people each season. The orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 as part of the Spring for Music festival and has been invited to return in May, 2013.
The program on this CD was recorded in Portland at public performances on February 18 and 19, 2012 (Vaughan Williams and Elgar) and on May 12, 13 and 14, 2012 (Britten) at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. For more information, visit OrSymphony.org