CBSO Youth Chorus, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Edward Gardner – Holst: The Planets; Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra (2017) MCH SACD ISO

CBSO Youth Chorus, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Edward Gardner – Holst: The Planets; Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra (2017)
SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz  | 01:19:13 minutes | 4,32 GB | Genre: Classical | © Chandos

For its very first album on Chandos, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain devotes its characteristic energy and musical mastery to an explosive programme that transcends daily life and earthly experience. It is helped by the enthusiastic, encouraging, and experienced baton of Edward Gardner as well as by the sumptuous yet detailed acoustic of Symphony Hall, Birmingham, all fully revealed in this surround-sound recording.

Their performance of Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra and Holst’s The Planets is already a point of reference in the UK after the immensely successful Prom concert that preceded the recording. The concert’s five-star review in The Daily Telegraph praised in particular the orchestra’s ‘great attack and complete absence of anything routine’, while The Guardian emphasised the great performance of the orchestra in this ‘graceful and evocative programme’, especially the ‘depth and richness of sound that belied their youth’.

This unique album is a first milestone in what promises to be a superb discography for the NYO.

occasionally one misses the refinement of a professional outfit, but rarely: more often one is struck by the warmth and intensity of the string sound and the quality of the wind solos. Edward Gardner’s driven, finely balanced conducting ensures this is one for collectors as well as supporters. – The Guardian, 10th February 2017

Gardner’s conducting of Strauss’s Nietzsche-inspired symphonic poem is impressively flowing and direct while still being flexible and also alive to small details; in return the members of the National Youth Orchestra play with confidence, poise and bravura, and a lack of indulgence on Gardner’s part is refreshing to the music as a whole…However, it’s The Planets that takes the bouquets. –


Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949)
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176 (1895–96) 31:35
1. Sehr breit – Immer breiter – 1:59
2. ‘Von den Hinterweltlern’. Weniger breit – Mäßig langsam, mit Andacht – Sehr breit – 3:27
3. ‘Von der großen Sehnsucht’. Bewegter – Früheres Zeitmaß (mäßig langsam) – 1:54
4. ‘Von den Freuden- und Leidenschaften’. Bewegt – Noch bewegter, sehr leidenschaftlich – Etwas breiter werden – 1:51
5. ‘Das Grablied’. Etwas ruhiger – Immer ruhiger – 2:05
6. ‘Von der Wissenschaft’. Sehr langsam – Schnell – Etwas lebhafter – Sehr langsam – Etwas weniger langsam – Doppelt so schnell – 4:10
7. ‘Der Genesende’. Energisch – Allmählich etwas bewegter – Immer bewegter – Immer schneller – Sehr schnell – Ziemlich langsam – Schnell – 4:52
8. ‘Das Tanzlied’. [ ] – Zart bewegt – Mit lebhaftem Schwung – Leicht und elastisch – Sehr bewegt – Sehr lebhaft und schwungvoll – Allmählich wieder bewegter – Sehr schnell – 7:13
9. ‘Das Nachtwandlerlied’. [ ] – Langsam – Immer ruhiger – Immer langsamer – Noch langsamer 4:01

Gustav Holst (1874–1934)
The Planets, Op. 32, H 125 (1914 – 17)* 48:01
10. I. Mars, the Bringer of War. Allegro 7:10
11. II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace. Adagio – Andante – Animato – Meno mosso – Largo – Animato – Largo – Animato – Largo – Adagio (come prima) – Andante – Tempo I 7:40
12. III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger. Vivace 3:42
13. IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity. Allegro giocoso – Più mosso – Tempo I – Andante maestoso – Tempo I – Maestoso – Meno mosso – Lento maestoso – Presto 7:27
14. V. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age. Adagio – Poco animato – Tempo I – Animato – [A tempo I] – Animato – L’istesso tempo (animato) – Andante 8:30
15. VI. Uranus, the Magician. Allegro – Lento – Allegro – Largo 5:18
16. VII. Neptune, the Mystic. Andante – Allegretto 7:46

CBSO Youth Chorus*
Julian Wilkins chorus master
Simon Halsey chorus director
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Millie Ashton leader
Edward Gardner


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