<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson OFTEN RAVISHING
Fascinated by toys and their miniature mechanisms, Ravel wrote his Mother Goose
suite for two musical children as a four-hand duet. He had in mind too some fairytale
illustrations that had caught his imagination. The later orchestration of the pieces
would have provided no examples for the book on instrumentation he planned consisting
entirely of musical extracts from his own works where he felt he had got things wrong.
The delectable start of 'Beauty and the Beast' makes the point. Of course the beast
growls his entrance in a moment, only to be transformed with a harp glissando
[listen -- 5 86175 2 track 18, 0:00-1:09].
The tune Purcell wrote for Aphra Behn's play Abdelazer, or the Moor's Revenge.
A Tragedy has been so commandeered by Britten that we tend to forget the original
was a lengthy 'Rondeau' for strings with two episodes. Purcell liked the tune so much
he presented it also in a highly ornamented keyboard version. Despite the friskiness
and imagination of many variations devoted to the different instruments and indeed the
virtuosic flights of the final fugue, all admirably encompassed by the LPO under
Sian Edwards, it is Purcell's sturdy basis to the work that sticks in the mind and is
indeed presented by Britten more than once as a commendably unvarnished tale
[listen -- 5 86175 2 tracks 22-25].
Copyright © 20 July 2005
Robert Anderson, London UK
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Debussy: La Mer etc
5 86167 2 DDD Stereo COMPILATION 74'23" 1979, 1986, 2004 EMI Records Ltd
London Philharmonic Orchestra; Serge Baudo, conductor; London Symphony Orchestra; André Previn (Ibéria)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune; Jeux - poème dansé; La Mer - Three symphonic sketches; Ibéria (No II of Images)
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Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf, and other children's favourites
5 86175 2 DDD Stereo COMPILATION 69'18" 1984, 1990, 2004 EMI Records Ltd
Willie Rushton, narrator (Prokofiev); London Philharmonic Orchestra; Sian Edwards, conductor; English Chamber Orchestra Wind Ensemble (Debussy)
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953): Peter and the Wolf Op 67; Claude Debussy (1862-1918), arr Graham Sheen (born 1952): Three Pieces from 'Children's Corner' (The Little Shepherd; Jimbo's Lullaby; Golliwogg's Cake-Walk); Maurice Ravel (1875-1937): Mother Goose - Five Children's Pieces; Benjamin Britten (1913-1976): The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Variations and Fugue on a theme by Purcell Op 34