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Grainger Edition, Vol. 1: Orchestral Works

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Composer: Percy Grainger
  • Audio CD (November 15, 1996)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B000000B03
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,610 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful recording of the orchestral works of Percy Grainger. It is a wonderful introduction to the music of the late Australian-American composer.
Much of Grainger's music is highly approachable. It is, in many ways, a perfect introduction to classical music. Nevertheless, do not let the apparent simplicity fool you. Some of his work contains some of the most inventive orchestration of this century.
All in all, this is an excellent introduction to Grainger's work, and may indeed interest listeners in obtaining more recordings of Grainger's wonderful compositions.
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Format: Audio CD
A delightful program to open this very interesting series, this one is. As always Richard Hickox displays an unerring ear for the color and pacing of whatever repertoire he ever got his hand on, and the BBC Philharmonic responds with color and élan - even though a little bit of additional attack would not have gone amiss on certain occasions. The programme is well-planned and varied enough, although much of it is less-known and somewhat lower than top-drawer Grainger, even though everything of course is very much unmistakably the composer. The opening Duke of Marlborough fanfare is a demonstration vehicle for the rich and magnificent brass players of the BBC Philharmonic, and the disc really goes from one success to another after that performancewise. Notice, for instance, the perky liveliness of Shepherd's Hey and the swaggering charm of Walking Tune - quite simply marvelously done. True, not everything here is, perhaps, equally inspired music-wise (some of the early works are, while charming and attractive, not really very memorable), but the music is for the most part at least delightfully atmospheric and colorful. The best is, perhaps, the last items; the wonderful In a Nutshell suite, and the dynamic, spirited Green Bushes. The sound quality is marvelous, and this disc can be strongly recommended - I admit to not having followed up the Chandos Grainger series, but if everything is as well played as this one, it would surely be a worthwhile endeavor, at least when it gets to the really good works.
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Format: Audio CD
This Disc is the first of the Grainger Edition but it's not really a good place to start if you've never heard Grainger before, mainly because there aren't many "fripperies" on here, only Shepherd's Hey! If you're looking for an intro to Grainger I'd go with GE Vol. 4 Works for Wind Orchestra, GE Vol. 13 Works for Chamber Ensemble, or GE vol. 17 Works for Solo Piano 2. That said this disc is great, opening with the haunting but powerful Duke of Marlborough and In a Nutshell Suite which must be Grainger trying to summarize his musical tastes in a way. Harvest Hymn and Blithe Bells are beautiful pieces in these large Orchestra versions, both with sweet Trumpet solos and Green Bushes is always fun. I was really and pleasantly surprised by There were Three Friends, Fisher's Boarding House, and We were Dreamers. These pieces are hard to describe because they are subtle but they have a peacefull quality to them. This disc is real quality.
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Format: Audio CD
This collection of Percy Grainger's 'Orchestral Works' does not include those things for which Grainger is best known. And, it does not include those things of which I am most fond, which are mostly his choral and solo voice works. But then, I may not have gotten to listen to this very nice material. Like all of Grainger's work, this is far more accurately described as nice or pretty than 'beautiful' or 'sublime'. But it has its moments, and there are phrases here and there which really make me stop and take notice. So, it's good to give this a listen before you move on to 'Danny Boy' and the like.
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