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Cat. No. CHAN 10568(2) Price: 10.5 No. of discs: 2
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CHAN 10568 - Within a Dream: A Celebration of the Artistry of Richard Hickox (1948-2008)
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Available From: 01 October 2009
Within a Dream: A Celebration of the Artistry of Richard Hickox (1948-2008)

The premature death of Richard Hickox on 23 November, 2008, at the age of just 60, deprived the musical world of one of its greatest conductors.  The depth and breadth of his musical achievements were astonishing, not least in his remarkable work on behalf of British composers.  

Richard had a long and deeply fulfilling relationship with Chandos that enabled him to realise his artistic vision.  His recorded legacy remains as a testament to his musical ability and the excerpts on this two-CD set have been chosen to capture all aspects of his art.

It was difficult to know what to leave out as Richard seemed never to make a poor recording. However here we have some of his greatest achievements, from the original recording of Vaughan Williams’ A London Symphony to the poignant setting of Delius’ Songs of Sunset from which the title of this celebration – Within a Dream – is taken. In between there are excerpts from Britten operas, from the Grainger, Arnold and Holst series as well as much beyond British music, including Mendelssohn, Menotti, Hummel and Beethoven. The breadth and depth of Richard Hickox’s achievements were astonishing as this brief selection of his music-making demonstrates.

Through these recordings we can continue to marvel at the consistent high level of his interpretations whilst wondering what more he could have achieved had he lived to eighty.

Chandos will donate the royalties from all sales of this disc to The Richard Hickox Foundation, supporting those causes about which Richard felt passionately including British composers, support for young conductors and singers and performance of British music outside the UK.  

Reviews

“A much-loved musician is fondly remembered and a Foundation launched.”
Andrew Achenbach


Gramophone - March 2010

“Stars hardly count in this two-disc tribute to the much-missed Richard. Proceeds go to the Hickox Memorial Foundation. His wide repertoire is represented in the well-chosen extracts, from Bach and Haydn to Britten, Vaughan-Williams and Elgar. Everyone will have favourites, whether they are the scenes from Albert Herring and Peter Grimes, the splendid singing by Gerald Finley of Stanfords The Old Superb  or Hickox’s conducting of the opening of the original version of William’s London Symphony.”

Sunday Telegraph - 15 November 2009

“Hickox recorded extensively, and Chandos was the main beneficiary of his talent with over 280 recordings. This is a compilation of some of the best of them. Whilst operas and oratorios by the likes of Verdi, Dvorak and Schubert are here, the lion’s share of the disc is rightly devoted to his talent for and championing of British operatic and orchestral music. Vaughan Williams, Britten, Delius, Holst, Bridge, Elgar Stanford and Arnold are all represented, as is the more modern music of Tavener. Inevitably when such a breadth of repertoire is being covered, we’re talking movements rather that complete works, but it’s been sympathetically programmed, and consequently the transitions don’t jar the senses. Rather, it serves to highlight Hickox’s wide-ranging musical knowledge and tastes, and his skill for creating dramatic atmosphere.

Gems include the sensuous second movement of the original 1913 version of Vaughan Williams’ ‘London Symphony’, with its echoes of The Lark Ascending. There is a thundering ‘Dance of the Spirits of Fire’ from Holst’s ballet, the Perfect Fool, plus Gerald Finley’s colourful rendition of ‘The Old Superb’ from the Gramophone Award-winning recording of Stanford’s Songs of the Sea, Op 9.

Thank you, Chandos for another fitting epitaph.”
Charlotte Gardner

BBC Web-site - 15 October 2009

 

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