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Record Box - Planning your collection - with Bill Newman

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Global Fascinations and Sophistications

Percy Grainger

 

Chandos have arrived at volume 14 in their survey of the music of Percy Grainger (1882-1961). It seems like yesterday when Grainger appeared on BBC Television in the wonderful days of black and white, when you could relax after Sunday lunch and enjoy good music and balanced chat without fear of another lousy film or endlessly violent sport. Grainger even played Handel in the Strand in the Stokowski arrangement, and spoke in a squeaky voice about the great pioneer days. I know of no other composer who can produce a constant stream of stunning pieces, many in a proliferation of diverse instrumental and vocal settings that were like no other.

Percy Grainger: Works for Chamber Ensemble 2 (c) 2000 Chandos Records Ltd

He rarely receives his due in the concert hall as we haven't the gift of laughing at ourselves -- or enjoy a composer regularly letting his hair down.

You get the drift by considering the titles: Lord Peter's Stable-Boy, The Shoemaker from Jerusalem, Hubby and Wifey, Bonnie Doon, The Bridegroom, and many more. Della Jones, Stephen Varcoe, with cello and guitar going hammers and tongs with whoops and screams galore [listen -- track 3, 0:25-1:12], while Martyn Hill copes amorously with some of the calmer fare. A large complement of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields are on parade, and there are also featured numbers that include Grainger's favourite harmonium, played by John Alley. What about a Late Night Prom?

To be continued >>

 

Copyright © 13 December 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - CHANDOS CHAN 9819

PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON

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VISIT THE PERCY GRAINGER SOCIETY WEBSITE

 

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