Elgar The Spirit of England op.80 (1916-17)
Elegy for Strings ‘In Memoriam Rupert Brooke’ (1915)
Ivor Gurney War Elegy (1920)
Sir Hubert Parry The Chivalry of the Sea (1916)
Lilian Elkington Out of the Mist (1921)
Ian Farrington (organ)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
David Lloyd-Jones (conductor)
Susan Gritton (soprano)
Andrew Kennedy (tenor)
BBC Symphony Chorus
Stephen Jackson (chorus master)
Recorded at The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford
25–27 February 2006
World Premiere recordings
(The Spirit of England first recording in the version for two solo voices)
Warriors who inspired Elgar
"For me, the most underrated of all Elgar's masterpieces is "The Spirit of England", his First World War setting of three poems of Laurence Binyon ending with the celebrated For the Fallen with its concluding stanza engraved on all our hearts: 'They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old ...' "
"Sadly this piece has never caught on, which can have nothing to do with the mnagnificent music, and must be blamed on the title. How much better ... Michael Kennedy, Elgar's most insightful biographer contends, if he had called it For the Fallen. That would so fittingly have conveyed the noble, elegiac quality of both words and music."
"... here, the tenor Andrew Kennedy makes a good foil for the excellent Susan Gritton.""What makes this CD especially memorable is one of the couplings; a moving elegy for strings In Memoriam of Rupert Brook, by Australian Frederick Septimus Kelly."
David Mellor, The Mail on Sunday, 21 January 2007
"Inspired by war, this enterprising set proves to be a moving experience."
" ... here for the first time a tenor, the talented young Andrew Kennedy, takes over for “To Women” and the result is a degree more effective than with a single soloist. David Lloyd-Jones conducts a powerful performance, biting in “The Fourth of August”, with the chorus in superb form, and aptly elegiac in “For the Fallen”. Susan Gritton sings brightly and with clarity, and Kennedy has a pleasing tenor."
"For me, the outstanding item is Ivor Gurney’s War Elegy. Remembered for his haunting songs and poetry, and the tragic story of his mental health problems, Gurney in his only orchestral work composed a powerful funeral march which graphically reflected his experiences in the French trenches. "
"This fascinating collection, very well recorded and strongly performed, is a credit to Michael Dutton and his specialist label."
Edward Greenfield, Gramophone, February 2007