PRACTICAL CATS Simon Callow
Street Corner Overture (1944)
Madame Chrysanthème Ballet Suite (1957):
Procession with Lanterns
Practical Cats – An entertainment for speaker and orchestra (1954)
Verses from ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ by T.S. Eliot:
The Naming of Cats
The Old Gumbie Cat
Gus: the Theatre Cat
Bustopher Jones: the Cat about Town
The Song of the Jellicles
Simon Callow (narrator)
Theme, Variations & Finale (1967)
World premiere recording
Medieval Diptych, for baritone & orchestra (1962)
World premiere recording Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone)
Coronation Overture (1953)
World premiere recording
Recorded at Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 4-5 September 2007
and Abbey Road Studio 2, London, 17 December 2007 Download Medieval Diptych text (22kB)
David Lloyd-Jones and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra are completely at home in Rawsthorne’s repertoire, and in Practical Cats renowned English actor Simon Callow brings a wonderful life and character to T.S. Eliot’s familiar words set against Rawsthorne’s ever-inventive music. In contrast baritone Jeremy Huw Williams presents the world premiere recording of the darkly brooding setting of medieval words, Medieval Diptych, hauntingly atmospheric and dramatic by turns. This nicely balanced programme, recorded in the sympathetic acoustic of the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool , also features the ebulliently witty overture Street Corner, the exotic suite from the ballet Madame Chrysanthème, and two further world premiere recordings – the Theme, Variations and Finale and the atmospheric Coronation Overture.
"In 1954, when Andrew Lloyd Webber was still a kitten, Alan Rawsthorne set six poems from TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats as an 'entertainment for speaker and orchestra' - and very entertaining it is, too. Simon Callow narrates with engaging characterisation."
"Baritone Jeremy Huw Williams is his usual reliable self in the Diptych, and everything is expertly paced and balanced, crisply played and brightly recorded."
Anthony Burton, BBC Music Magazine, August 2008
"Callow’s interpretation is as personal as Robert Donat’s in Rawsthorne’s 1954 mono recording but predictably offers more extrovert characterisation."
"Altogether this impressive and important collection is clearly recommendable – and not only for Rawsthorne fans."
Andrew Lamb, Editor's Choice, Gramophone, July 2008
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