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Proms 2022

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Author Topic: Proms 2022  (Read 1690 times)
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)

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« on: May 07, 2022, 08:27:17 am »

I'm not so familiar with The Wreckers. Of course,I've heard allot about it over the years,  (decades!) but maybe the broadcast performance put me off? (I've liked everything else I've heard by Ethel Smyth) Although,I like the celebrated Overture & the Prelude to Act 2 (On the Cliffs of Cornwall). You'll have to remind me what was wrong with the recording,Albion? Was it the singers? (Or one of them?!) Hopefully,this will be the performance that the opera deserves? And the magnificent Concerto for Violin,horn & orchestra get's a hearing as well!

The Conifer recording of the 1994 Proms broadcast has been re-issued by Retrospect Opera and is generally very good indeed, although Justin Lavender in the key role of Mark just doesn't sound virile enough and is under strain when his vocal line gets higher. The chorus and orchestra are excellent, as is the conducting of Odaline de la Martinez.

The overture and "On the Cliffs of Cornwall" are stand-outs and deserve regular separate concert performance: Smyth provided an extensive concert-ending to the overture, which in the opera itself runs straight into the opening chorus.

There are a few duff moments, chiefly involving the character of Avis, but otherwise everything is top-quality music and highly dramatic. As the 2022 performance will be in French (which was Smyth's original intention), it's still well worth getting the Retrospect Opera re-issue...

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)

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