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Tag: Sir John Barbirolli

Sir John Barbirolli – Vaughan Williams: The Wasps, Fantasia on Greensleeves & Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – Vaughan Williams: The Wasps, Fantasia on Greensleeves & Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 25:39 minutes | 540 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

A fierce advocate of contemporary British music, John Barbirolli was close to Ralph Vaughan Williams, who dedicated him some of his compositions. We can hear in this digital premiere the famous Greensleeves Fantasia and the rare variations on the folk tune Dives and Lazarus, that Vaughan Williams collected and arranged as part of his ethnomusicological activities.

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Sir John Barbirolli – Elgar: Cello Concerto, Enigma Variations, Symphonies, Sea Pictures, The Dream of Gerontius… (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – Elgar: Cello Concerto, Enigma Variations, Symphonies, Sea Pictures, The Dream of Gerontius… (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 07:16:38 minutes | 15,80 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Sir John Barbirolli began as an orchestral cellist, and played under Elgar’s baton in the premiere of the Cello Concerto. Encouraged by Elgar, he moved into conducting and made his mark with the composer’s Second Symphony in 1927. After Elgar’s death, Barbirolli vowed to make the composer’s music his special mission in life and to do his utmost to make it known all over the world. From the performances here, we can judge how well he kept his promise.

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Sir John Barbirolli – Sibelius: Symphony No. 2, Op. 43 & The Swan of Tuonela (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – Sibelius: Symphony No. 2, Op. 43 & The Swan of Tuonela (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 50:07 minutes | 961 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Sir John Babirolli leads the legendary Hallé Orchestra on this double-Sibelius release, featuring Symphony No. 2 and “The Swan of Tuonela”.

The Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43, by Jean Sibelius was started in winter 1901 in Rapallo, Italy, shortly after the successful premiere of the popular Finlandia, and finished in 1902 in Finland. Sibelius said, “My second symphony is a confession of the soul.” The Swan of Tuonela (Tuonelan joutsen) is an 1895 tone poem by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. It is part of the Lemminkäinen Suite (Four Legends from the Kalevala), Op. 22, based on the Finnish mythological epic the Kalevala.

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Sir John Barbirolli – Tchaikovsky – Serenade, Op. 48 – Arensky – Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky Op. 35a (1965/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – Tchaikovsky – Serenade, Op. 48 – Arensky – Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky Op. 35a (1965/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/192kHz | Time – 46:29 minutes | 1,79 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Born in London of Italian-French parents, Sir John Barbirolli (1899-1970) trained as a cellist and played in theatre and caf’e orchestras before joining the Queen’s Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood in 1916. His conducting career began with the formation of his own orchestra in 1924, and between 1926 and 1933 he was active as an opera conductor at Covent Garden and elsewhere. Orchestral appointments followed: the Scottish Orchestra (1933-36), the New York Philharmonic (1936-42), the Hall’e Orchestra (1943-70) and the Houston Symphony (1961-67). Barbirolli guest conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras and was especially admired as an interpreter of the music of Mahler, Sibelius, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Delius, Puccini and Verdi. He made many outstanding recordings, including the complete Brahms and Sibelius symphonies, as well as operas by Verdi and Puccini and much English repertoire.

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Sir John Barbirolli – Mahler – Symphonies Nos. 1, 5, 6, 9 & Lieder (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – Mahler – Symphonies Nos. 1, 5, 6, 9 & Lieder (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/192kHz | Time – 05:53:06 minutes | 13,1 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

“Barbirolli’s famous 1969 version on any count is one of the greatest, most warmly affecting performances ever committed to disc, expansive, yet concentrated in feeling: the Adagietto is very moving … A classic version.” The Penguin Guide to Classical Music about the 5th Symphony

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Sir John Barbirolli – Encore, Sir John (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – Encore, Sir John (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 46:06 minutes | 1,81 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

John Barbirolli studied cello as a boy, making his debut public appearance at the age of 12. He received a formal education at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, from which he graduated in 1916. Upon graduation, he found a position in the Queen’s Hall Orchestra, becoming its youngest member. He made his professional solo debut as a cellist in Aeolian Hall, London, in 1917. During World War I he joined the British Army; while in the service he got his first taste of conducting by leading an all-volunteer orchestra. After his service ended in 1919, he returned to the Queen’s Hall Orchestra. He also resumed performances as a cello soloist, appearing with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra. He joined and toured with the International String Quartet beginning in 1923. Soon after, he organized and conducted a chamber orchestra in Chelsea. The British National Opera Company engaged him to conduct on tour. On December 12, 1927, he attracted attention by successfully substituting as conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra when Thomas Beecham was indisposed; during the 1928 season he began to conducting opera regularly in London at both Sadler’s Wells and Covent Garden. In 1933 he was appointed permanent conductor of the Scottish Orchestra, remaining in that position for three seasons. At the same time he was the conductor of the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, and guest-conducted several orchestras at home and abroad. During the 1936-1937 season he accepted a ten-week position as guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic. This led to an invitation to assume the principal conductorship of that orchestra, in which capacity he succeeded Toscanini. Barbirolli remained with the Philharmonic through 1942. During his tenure in New York, he gave the world premieres of the Violin Concerto and the Sinfonia da Requiem of Benjamin Britten, then resident in New York. While in the United States, Barbirolli also appeared with various American and Canadian orchestras. Barbirolli was never a favorite of the New York critics during his time with the Philharmonic, and many audience members wanted something more flamboyant than his objective approach. And his relationship with the members of the orchestra wasn’t always harmonious; but he had the support of Arthur Judson, the orchestra’s manager, who especially appreciated the fact that the conductor tended to work well with guest soloists, whose performances were a major source of prestige for the orchestra. He was reportedly offered a new contract at the end of his fifth year, but to accept would have required him to take American citizenship, something he was unwilling to do with England locked in the midst of a battle for survival. He returned to England in 1943 and began his long tenure as conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which he ultimately transformed into a world-class ensemble rivaling the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic, as well as such postwar ensembles as the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia; in 1958 he reduced the number of yearly concerts he performed with them when he took the title Conductor-in-Chief, and in 1968 he retired from the Hallé with the title Conductor Laureate for Life. Meanwhile, he had returned to America; recruited by the Houston Symphony Orchestra’s indefatigable patroness Ima Hogg to succeed Leopold Stokowski, he became their conductor from 1961-1967. The 1960s were also marked by many guest and touring appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Hallé. He was knighted in 1949 and was made a Companion of Honour in 1969. His repertoire centered on the late Romantic era, and on British composers Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Delius; he led the first performances of Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8; the composer also bestowed the nickname “Glorious John” upon the conductor. Aside from the music of Britten, he showed little interest in music of modern tendencies; late in his career, though, he developed a particular affinity for Gustav Mahler. Barbirolli left a notable recorded legacy that extends well into the stereo LP era.

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Sir John Barbirolli – Chabrier – Joyeuse marche – Berlioz – La Damnation de Faust – Ravel – Ma mere l’Oye (1958/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – Chabrier – Joyeuse marche – Berlioz – La Damnation de Faust – Ravel – Ma mère l’Oye (1958/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 32:46 minutes | 0,97 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Born in London of Italian-French parents, Sir John Barbirolli (1899–1970) trained as a cellist and played in theatre and café orchestras before joining the Queen’s Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood in 1916. His conducting career began with the formation of his own orchestra in 1924, and between 1926 and 1933 he was active as an opera conductor at Covent Garden and elsewhere. Orchestral appointments followed: the Scottish Orchestra (1933–36), the New York Philharmonic (1936–42), the Hallé Orchestra (1943–70) and the Houston Symphony (1961–67). Barbirolli guest conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras and was especially admired as an interpreter of the music of Mahler, Sibelius, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Delius, Puccini and Verdi. He made many outstanding recordings, including the complete Brahms and Sibelius symphonies, as well as operas by Verdi and Puccini and much English repertoire.

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Sir John Barbirolli – Dvorak – Serenade, Op. 44 – Gounod – Petite Symphonie (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – Dvořák – Serenade, Op. 44 – Gounod – Petite Symphonie (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 46:48 minutes | 1,77 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Born in London of Italian-French parents, Sir John Barbirolli (1899–1970) trained as a cellist and played in theatre and café orchestras before joining the Queen’s Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood in 1916. His conducting career began with the formation of his own orchestra in 1924, and between 1926 and 1933 he was active as an opera conductor at Covent Garden and elsewhere. Orchestral appointments followed: the Scottish Orchestra (1933–36), the New York Philharmonic (1936–42), the Hallé Orchestra (1943–70) and the Houston Symphony (1961–67). Barbirolli guest conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras and was especially admired as an interpreter of the music of Mahler, Sibelius, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Delius, Puccini and Verdi. He made many outstanding recordings, including the complete Brahms and Sibelius symphonies, as well as operas by Verdi and Puccini and much English repertoire.

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Sir John Barbirolli – Sibelius – The Complete Symphonies & Orchestral Works (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – Sibelius – The Complete Symphonies & Orchestral Works (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 05:56:02 minutes | 13 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Sir John Barbirolli’s electrifying interpretations of the works of Jean Sibelius have inspired audiences all over the world. In a letter to Barbirolli, Sibelius declared himself to be a ‘devoted admirer’ of the conductor, adding that he was always happy to know that his compositions were in Barbirolli’s ‘masterful hands’. This collection features, among other works, the complete symphonies – including Barbirolli’s speciality, No.2 – the incidental music of Pelléas et Mélisande and that great symphonic poem, Finlandia.

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Sir John Barbirolli – English String Music Elgar – Introduction and Allegro & Serenade (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Sir John Barbirolli – English String Music Elgar – Introduction and Allegro & Serenade (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 52:13 minutes | 1,98 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Though exceptionally not recorded with the Hallé but with the Sinfonia of London, this is probably one of the most famous albums conducted under the baton of Sir John Barbirolli. Entirely devoted to English music for string orchestra, it includes very famous tunes such as Vaughan Williams’s Fantasy on Greensleeves or (yet another) recording of Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, the work Barbirolli recorded the most throughout his career. For this piece, he is partnered by the Allegri String Quartet, the oldest British chamber ensemble still in activity. As a bonus, the digital premiere of Elgar’s Elegy recorded with the Hallé completes that beautiful program.

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