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Stanford on Hyperion in August and SOMM in September

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Author Topic: Stanford on Hyperion in August and SOMM in September  (Read 1413 times)
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« on: September 28, 2019, 07:04:37 am »

Stanford's The Travelling Companion is available as from yesterday:

The liner notes including the libretto can be downloaded free from the SOMM web page.  I purchased the CD version though it is available in various formats.

Having been impressed by the extracts broadcast by the BBC in 1995 with Barry Wordsworth, the Royal Opera House and the BBC Concert Orchestra, I was greatly looking forward to this release.  I am not disappointed. I was slightly apprehensive that the opera would orchestrally sound inadequate, as compared to the extracts, given the New Sussex Opera had used a specially prepared reduced orchestral force (mostly strings presumably?).  Whilst my initial impression is the fine Prelude falls slightly short of the fuller sounding 1995 studio performance, the rest of the opera sounds fine and what a delightful piece it is!  The music is lyrical, at times dramatic, sometimes emotionally moving and has several inspired and memorable themes which permeate the score. Having become familiar with certain themes through the extracts, it was a thrill to hear them in Stanford's different permutations.   

The forthcoming Wexford performance of Stanford's first opera The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan is due for a CD release, presumably next year:

Perhaps the recent Northern Opera Group's performance of Stanford's Much Ado About Nothing [see: ] might make it to, at least, a privately available CD.  One can only hope. More than a hour of excerpts from this opera (5 in total), from an earlier 2016 performance accompanied by piano, can be accessed from:

In the meantime we have The Travelling Companion.  Thoroughly recommended.  Cheesy Grin Smiley Wink

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