The Hymn of Jesus; Sea Drift & Cynara


Released On
2nd Sep 2013

Product Code
CD HLL 7535

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Gustav Holst; Frederick Delius

Sir Mark Elder

Roderick Williams, Baritone
Hallé Choir
Hallé Youth Choir

GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934)


“Two aspects made this performance special: the orchestra’s scrupulous finesse … and the glory of the two Hallé choirs.”

The Times on the Hallé’s performance of Holst: The Hymn of Jesus at The Bridgewater Hall, 15 March 2012

“Elder’s Hallé now has more mastery of the colours and contours of early 20th-century British music than any other British orchestra.”

The Times on the Hallé’s performance of Delius: Sea Drift at The Bridgewater Hall, 17 March 2011

Following unparalleled success with recordings for orchestra and choir, including awards in recent years from both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder present a compelling programme of evocative and rarely performed works which will be a valuable addition to the catalogue.

Holst’s large-scale work The Hymn of Jesus explores the connection between dancing and religious ritual in a highly concentrated and intense work. It combines musical techniques and thematic material to produce a work which is a highly evocative representation of the serenity and exaltation of mysticism.

Delius’ enigmatic choral poem Sea Drift is described by Elder as a ‘masterpiece’ and is a work he has long wanted to perform and record. Composed in 1903 to verses by Walt Whitman the work depicts, in wonderful music of great emotional intensity, an expression of grief, loss and bereavement. Including some of the most ravishing music that Delius ever penned, Sea Drift stands as one of the most profound evocations of loss in British music.

Cynara also follows the theme of loss in a setting of texts by the poet Ernest Dowson, lamenting the loss of the mistress of the poet Horace in classical literature. With its yearning violin solo, overpowering sense of hedonistic melancholy, brief dance-episode and highly effective ending, it is a fortunately preserved reminder of Delius at the height of his expressive powers.

Featuring acclaimed British baritone Roderick Williams; a soloist at the height of his powers, here in repertoire which is perfectly suited to his lyrical, dramatic and musical expertise.

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