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Cat. No. CHAN 10606 Price: 10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10606 - Dove: Tobias and the Angel
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Available From: 01 July 2010
Dove: Tobias and the Angel

Born on 18 July 1959, Jonathan Dove is one of Britain’s leading composers of opera, choral works, theatre, film, orchestral, and chamber music. His community opera Tobias and the Angel premiered in 1999 at Christ Church, Highbury Fields in London, was taken up in 2005 by the Young Vic / English Touring Opera during the refurbishment of the Theatre’s regular venue, and was the first opera performed at the newly revamped Young Vic in 2006. The libretto, by David Lan, is based on the Book of Tobit from the biblical Apocrypha. Dove has written more than twenty operatic works on a wide range of subjects and is the most performed contemporary opera composer in the UK.

The colourfully biblical story of Tobit, who is blinded after daring to give a fellow Jew a proper burial, and the ensuing adventures of his son, Tobias, is vividly portrayed. The story particularly appealed to the composer, who said: ‘The tale has a mystical aspect, but also the character of a Jewish folk-tale, especially the scene in which Tobias is threatened by a huge fish, kills it, and is instructed to take out its heart and gall – which turn out to have magical healing properties.’

Although the racial oppression and demonic possession which are part of this work are fully developed, it is undoubtedly one of Dove’s brightest, even serene, scores, possessing immense appeal and communicative power. The nine instruments of the orchestra provide plenty of colour, for example effectively evoking the Jewish elements of a klezmer band, and David Lan’s libretto does a masterly job in telling the story in an almost cinematic way. This is the work’s premiere recording.

Reviews

“…All singers are excellent and strong; the important choral contributions are brilliantly rendered. Perhaps it is Laing who deserves special mention for the purity of his delivery and his clear attunement to his role.” “…The recording is miraculously present, and reproduces Dove’s often beautiful textures magnificently. One can hear all the various line of the opera’s poignant ending perfectly, and with a wonderful sense of perspective.  A memorable issue.”
Colin Clarke
 

Fanfare - January/February 2011

“…Chandos’ world premiere recording of  Tobias and the Angel under conductor David Charles Abell is a superb rendering of the Young Vic’s 2006 production”
Owen Mortimer
 

Opera Now - January-February 2011

“…Warmly recommended.”
                                                                                     
Rodney Miles
 

Opera - October 2010

"...it’s to Dove and Lan’s credit that the results are so, well, gorgeous, the musical journey from darkness to light full of humour and warmth..." "...The casting is near-perfect; Rodney Clarke’s demon suitably sinister, balanced by counter-tenor James Lang’s ethereal Raphael. Omar Ebrahim and Darren Abrahams really inhabit the roles of Tobit and Tobias, and the various other elements - children’s chorouses, accordian, organ and tuned percussion all fuse seamlessly."

Graham Rickson

theartsdesk.com - 24 July 2010

“…it is well produced and recorded…”
 
Peter Spaull

Liverpool Daily Post - 23 July 2010

                  Performance ****      Recording *****
“…It’s a spirited performance however, and excellently recorded.”
 
Stephen Johnson
 

BBC Music Magazine - September 2010

         ****
 
 

The Times - 31July 2010

                      “Editor’s Choice”
“…An outstanding release.”
                                                                  
Malcolm Riley
    

Gramophone - September 2010

“…the acting and singing is all top notch; and diction is crystal-clear. The choruses supply some particularly lovely moments, such as the trees’ chorale.”
                                                                       
Charlotte Gardner

Classic FM Magazine - August 2010

“…Even if on a CD so vividly recorded as this, one might be tempted to regret the loss of spirit the community involvement in the staged performances brings to this work, in its place we have impressive clarity of detail, revealing the absolute mastery of Dove’s score, his adept interweaving of so many varied influences and elements into a coherent and totally convincing whole. If a CD can be uplifting, this one certainly is."
                                                
Marc Rochester

International Record Review - July/August 2010

 

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