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Best of British: From the Proms 2007

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Audio CD, January 22, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

This special priced two-CD set features selected highlights from the 2007 Proms season, compiled to a survey of the best of British music from the last 100 years. The CD includes orchestral favorites like Elgar's beloved Cello Concerto and Britten's Four Sea Interludes, featuring acclaimed soloists like violinists Daniel Hope, Leila Josefowicz and cellist Paul Watkins. All concerts feature the BBC Symphony Orchestra, led by conductors Sir Andrew Davis, Jirí Belohlávek, Stephen Jackson and Oliver Knussen, the latter conducting the performance of his own Violin Concerto. The album also captures the world premiere performance of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's Four Poems of Thomas Campion.

1. A Song of Summer (1929-30)
2. Recitative
3. Aria
4. Gigue
5. Medium fast
6. Interlude (Medium slow)
7. Very slow, calmer still
8. Interlude (Medium fast)
9. Medium fast
10. Now winter nights enlarge
11. Never weather-beaten Saile
12. Fire, fire
13. The hours of sleepy night

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000WC2UQS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,003 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G.C. on August 21, 2011
This appears to be the first, and sadly only, compendium of performances released by Deutsche Grammophon from the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, from 2007. My guess is that this may have intended to be the first of an annual series, but it hasn't gone any further that I've seen. In any case, this collection ranges from relatively familiar British music, the Elgar Cello Concerto and the Britten "Sea Interludes" from 'Peter Grimes', to two works getting their first commercial releases, the Violin Concerto by Oliver Knussen and the "Four Poems of Thomas Campion" by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.

The first CD, somewhat short measure at around 49 minutes, all features performances with Jiri Belohlavek, current chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, on the podium leading the BBC SO. It's nice to have a non-Anglo conductor's take on these very English works, and his conducting is solid, if not necessarily earth-shaking in the interpretations. Paul Watkins is, likewise, a pretty straight, no-fuss interpreter of the Elgar concerto. Both the Walton and Elgar, BTW, are from the 2007 First Night.

The second CD, more generously filled, features other conductors with the BBC SO. Their former chief conductor, Sir Andrew Davis, leads the Delius and the Tippett works. Davis had, and continues to have, a strong rapport with the BBC SO, and the performances here are very fine. In particular, the Tippett is noteworthy as being the first commercial release of the Triple Concerto taken from live performances, to my understanding. The soloists, Daniel Hope, Christian Poltera and Philip Dukes all serve the concerto well. However, to be honest, at times the music seems to be chasing its own tail and inhabiting a self-consciously gamelan-like atmosphere a bit much.
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