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Cat. No. CHAN 10570(2) Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 2
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CHAN 10570 - Elgar: Crown of India/ Imperial March/Coronation March
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Available From: 01 November 2009
Elgar: Crown of India/ Imperial March/Coronation March

Chandos are delighted to present the first complete recording of the masque The Crown of India, performed here by Clare Shearer and Gerald Finley, with the BBC Philharmonic and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.  Completed by Anthony Payne in 2008 the work conveys all the pomp and pageantry with which Elgar is associated.  The work is presented on 2 CDs.  Disc 1 includes the entire masque with narration, whilst Disc 2 contains only the music and Marches.  The set is sold at the price of one full price CD.    

This recording is also the first with Sir Andrew Davis, now signed exclusively to Chandos.  Sir Andrew’s fascination with Elgar goes deep, including taking the symphonies all over the world.  He says of The Crown of India, ‘He’s [Payne] done a terrific job.   This is from Elgar’s mature period, the time of the Violin Concerto and Sospiri.  There’s a ‘March of the Moguls’ which is the only march I know in three time and an exquisite interlude with solo violin.’  

The elaborate pageant and theatrical presentation, The Crown of India was first staged in 1912 to celebrate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Delhi for their coronation as Emperor and Empress of India.  Elgar wrote the music as his Op.66, with a libretto by Henry Hamilton.  Sadly the score was only published in a piano-vocal version and the remaining orchestral parts were destroyed in the 1960s.  In 2007 the Elgar Society set about a commission for Anthony Payne to complete the orchestration of the music, with the orchestral suite and marches.   

Sir Andrew Davis continues to be resident in Chicago, where he has been Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Lyric Opera Chicago since 2000.  His association with Chandos will see him conduct the principal BBC orchestras as well as orchestras around the world.   
 

The elaborate pageant and theatrical presentation, The Crown of India was first staged in 1912 to celebrate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Delhi for their coronation as Emperor and Empress of India.

Elgar wrote the music as his Op.66, with a libretto by Henry Hamilton. Sadly the score was only published in a piano-vocal version and the remaining orchestral parts were destroyed in the 1960s. In 2007 the Elgar Society set about a commission for Anthony Payne to complete the orchestration of the music, with the orchestral suite and marches.

Sir Andrew Davis continues to be resident in Chicago, where he has been Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Lyric Opera Chicago since 2000. His association with Chandos will see him conduct the principal BBC orchestras as well as orchestras around the world.

The set is sold at the price of one full price CD.
Reviews

“…this could not be better performed and all musical friends of The Lutyens Trust should purchase this beautifully present double CD album without delay.”
Mervyn Miller

The Lutyens Trust Newsletter - Spring 2010

"... a wonderful piece of nostalgia celebrating the height of the British Empire."
Peter Worsley

Light Music Society - Spring Newsletter 2010

“…The soloists sound fine and very properly English, and the BBC Philharmonic sounds better than ever…  The sound is excellent. A very important Elgar release.”
Roger Hecht

American Record Guide - March/April 2010

“…Kudos to the soloists, the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and the BBC Philharmonic and Andrew Davis for performances that are rousing, exciting and beautifully played. The balance between narrators and orchestra is excellent and the sound is typical of Chandos, which is to say, spectacular. So, yes, this CD is interesting historically and musically and is worth hearing. Elgar lovers and Anglophiles will need this and others can appreciate and enjoy it.”
 
 Robert Moon      

Audiophile Audition - 30 January 2010

“Elgar’s extravagant celebration of the 1911 Delhi Durbar with this music hall masque has usually been dismissed as imperialised bombast. But research into the full score has revealed some characteristically Elgarian lyricism. Some items have been orchestrated by Anthony Payne with his customary skill… Sir Andrew Davis conducts the BBC Philharmonic with exuberance and taste, and Clare Shearer and Gerald Finley head the soloists.”
Michael Kennedy
 

The Telegraph - 17 January 2010

“The music … is from start to finish authentic middling Elgar, highly enjoyable and worth revival. Gerald Finley shines as St George in ‘The Rule of England’… The three stand-alone marches which appear as fillers on disc 2 are thrown off with tremendous panache by Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic.”
                            Performance *****/Recording*****

Calum MacDonald

BBC Music Magazine - Christmas 2009

“… the work contains much fine music. Payne has expertly rebuilt the orchestral parts, lost in the 1970’s. The new score’s bold colours and passion are wonderfully unfurled by the BBC Philharmonic under master Elgarian Andrew Davis in this wholehearted premiere recording.”
Andrew Stewart

Classic FM Magazine - January 2010

                                     - Editor’s Choice -
“…The performance possesses all the stirling virtues that we have come to expect from one of this composer’s most distinguished exponents. Sir Andrew directs with contagious relish, no little charisma (witness the glinting spectacle of the ‘March of the Mogul Emperors’) and instinctive ebb and flow, the BBC PO and Sheffield Philharmonic Choir acquitting themselves in kind with admirable skill and commitment. Both vocal soloists are excellent (Gerald Finley projects marvellously in ‘The Rule of England’)… The fill-ups are perceptively handled, too, not least the markedly subdued and darkly sumptuous Coronation March of 1911, while both the Imperial March (1896-97) and lesser-known Empire March (1924) have confidence and burnished splendour to spare.
With its gloriously ample sonics and attractive artwork, this set should find favour with every Elgar devotee."

       
Andrew Achenbach

 

Gramophone - January 2010

“…Chandos, Davis and the BBC Philharmonic have done him [Elgar] proud.”
Hugh Canning

 

International Record Review - January 2010

 

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