Arthur SULLIVAN – Macbeth with Simon Callow as heard on BBC Radio 3

Arthur Sullivan: Macbeth (incidental music), The Tempest (incidental music), Marmion Overture

Order 2-CD set 2CDLX 7331 @ £20*

As heard on Afternoon on 3, BBC Radio 3 with Katie Derham, Friday 9 June 2017

CD review…

The spirit of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream hovers over Arthur Sullivan’s Shakespeare scores: The Tempest, begun when he was still a teenager, and Macbeth from 1888. … the music is pure delight. Mary Bevan’s Ariel beguiles the ear.” Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 24 July 2016

CD notes ….

2016 commemorates 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, and this 2 CD set features Sullivan’s complete incidental music for two of the Bard’s best-known plays.

The Tempest was Sullivan’s graduation work from the Leipzig Conservatoire, and its rapturous reception in London in 1862 launched his career. The Macbeth music comes from the other end of Sullivan’s creative life. Commissioned by Henry Irving for his famous production at the Lyceum Theatre, it includes sublime melodic writing, ravishing orchestration (including the atmospheric use of two harps) and a dark dramatic energy. For both plays, Sullivan interwove music and text seamlessly – most impressively in the scenes between Macbeth and the Witches. Simon Callow’s wonderful performance of Shakespeare’s text makes it possible to appreciate how truly theatrical this music is. Marmion was composed after the epic poem by Walter Scott, which culminates in the Battle of Flodden Field. Until now, it has been heard only in a heavily abbreviated version. This recording restores the composer’s original narrative structure, with sparkling playing from the BBC Concert Orchestra. 

Order 2-CD set 2CDLX 7331 @ £20*

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