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BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis – Bliss: The Enchantress, Meditations on a Theme by John Blow & Mary of Magdala (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Sir Andrew Davis, BBC Symphony Orchestra – Bliss: The Enchantress, Meditations on a Theme by John Blow & Mary of Magdala (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:16:48 minutes | 1,3 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Chandos

Bliss composed The Enchantress in 1951, the year of his sixtieth birthday, for Kathleen Ferrier. The text is a free adaptation of the Second Idyll of Theocritus, made by Henry Reed, and well suited to Bliss’s love of classical Greek authors.

Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, from 1955, was written for the CBSO, the first in a number of commissions from the John Feeney Trust. Inspired by John Blow’s Coronation Anthems, the work is a set of variations on a Sinfonia from that collection, each variation reflecting the text of a verse from Psalm 23.

Described as a sacred cantata, Mary of Magdala was Bliss’s second Feeney Trust commission, composed during 1962 and 1963. For a libretto, Bliss turned to Christopher Hassall, his collaborator on three previous works, including The Beatitudes.

Bliss conducted the premiere at the Three Choirs Festival in 1963, and wrote in his programme note: ‘One of the loveliest stories in the New Testament is that in the 20th chapter of St John’s Gospel, telling of how Mary Magdalene, lingering at the sepulchre, was the first to see the risen Christ. She, supposing him to be the gardener.’

The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus give of their best under their former chief conductor Sir Andrew Davis, and the contributions from the soloists, Dame Sarah Connolly and James Platt, are outstanding.

Tracklist:
01. The Enchantress, F. 157: No. 1, Bring Me the Laurel Leaves
02. The Enchantress, F. 157: No. 2, Oh Moon, Shine Fair
03. The Enchantress, F. 157: No. 3, Silent the Sea
04. The Enchantress, F. 157: No. 4, How I Saw Him in the Street
05. The Enchantress, F. 157: No. 5, And Now in the Fire I Fling You
06. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, F. 118: Introduction. The Lord Is My Shepherd
07. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, F. 118: No.1, He Leadeth Me Beside the Still Waters
08. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, F. 118: No. 2, Thy Rod and Staff They Comfort Me
09. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, F. 118: No. 3, The Lambs
10. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, F. 118: No. 4, He Restoreth My Soul
11. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, F. 118: No. 5, In Green Pastures
12. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, F. 118: Interlude. Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
13. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, F. 118: Finale. In the House of the Lord
14. Mary of Magdala, F. 31: I. Ashen the Sky
15. Mary of Magdala, F. 31: II. At Last, at Last
16. Mary of Magdala, F. 31: III. Look There, Look There
17. Mary of Magdala, F. 31: IV. Why Trouble Ye Her?
18. Mary of Magdala, F. 31: V. The Proud Aegyptian Queen
19. Mary of Magdala, F. 31: VI. Surely This Was the Place
20. Mary of Magdala, F. 31: VII. But What Are Those Two Strangers
21. Mary of Magdala, F. 31: VIII. But Who Is That Yonder
22. Mary of Magdala, F. 31: IX. Mary, Mother Was the Pleasant Blower

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