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Cat. No. CHSA 5036(2) Price: £23 No. of discs: 2
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CHSA 5036 - Bennett: The Mines of Sulphur
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Available From: 15 June 2005
Reviews

All credit then to Glimmerglass Opera for reviving the work in 2004. Stewart Robertson, Music Director at the upstate New York festival, conducts with complete authority and his orchestra reward him with a fine account of the score that walks an elegant tightrope between late Serialism and unabashed lyricism.
International Record Review

This performance by a respectable company under Stewart Robertson suggest that it’s time some UK company mounted a Bennett revival.
The Observer

As to the performance, it’s surely enough to note that the composer regarded both staging and performance a unsurpassable. As sound, performance, and a handsomely documented set, this is an outstanding issue.
Opera Now

Clarity of sound is always needed in Tippett, and this Super Audio CD from Chandos gives us a depth, range and detail that make his last orchestral piece ‘The Rose Lake’ glitter and beguile as never before. The changing colours of a Senegal lake gave Tippett the inspiration; though stuck in Swansea, Hickox and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales transport us, with bells, xylophone, and roto-toms cascading trhough music rich in echoes of the composer’s past.
The Times ‘The Knowledge’

Certainly the Mines doesn’t deserve the neglect it has suffered for more than a quarter of a century: this performance shows it can work on stage, and pack a real dramatic punch.
The Guardian

…everyone is well cast and directed – as Bennett’s own tribute indicates – in this astonishly assured first full-length opera which belongs in the repertoire.
Gramophone

This new ‘Rose Lake’ from Chandos seems to catch the work’s poetry even more clearly, and to make even more of a single majestic arch out of its mosaic of 12 sections, than does Colin Davis’s world premiere account. This is partly due to Richard Hickox’s firm and sympathetic direction, but also to the excellence of Chandos’s SACD recording, which provides superior delineation of Tippett’s complex textures, not least the passages of cloudy polyphony in the bass registers. The same virtues apply to the ‘Ritual Dances’, which receives an account of unusual vibrancy, culminating for once in its abandon, the BBC NOW here showing themselves a truly virtuoso band.
BBC Music Magazine

Stewart Robertson and his orchestra convey all the atmosphere of this sometimes Gothic thriller about murderous goings-on in a run-down West Country manor house. The cast is uniformly fine, but Brandon Jovanovich’s Boconnion and Dorothy Byrne’s Leda/Mrs Traxel deserve special mention.
The Telegraph

The work comes across strongly on disc: Richard Rodney Bennett’s style may be rooted in the serialism of the 1960s, but his sounds make for gripping music theatre and are for more interesting that the latter-day Puccini churned out by so many of his successors.
BBC Music Magazine

The American cast performs the opera with flair and conviction (and superb diction)…Stewart Robertson conducts a taut interpretation and the orchestra performs the Nocturne interludes with poetic evocation. First rate recording.
Sunday Telegraph

 

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