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Lazy Day Classics

Lazy Day Classics

Ref: CDG1271

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Calm music for an indulgent moment

Calm music to help you while away a lazy day and be a little self-indulgent! Put your feet up, read your favourite book, open a box of chocolates and relax in the company of some of the world's greatest composers.

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Lazy Day Classics
Calm music for an indulgent moment

Calm music to help you while away a lazy day and be a little self-indulgent! Put your feet up, read your favourite book, open a box of chocolates and relax in the company of some of the world's greatest composers.

1 Fantasia on 'Greensleeves'
Ralph Vaughan Williams 1872-1958
The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Geoffrey Simon

2 Two Elegaic Melodies, op34 - No 1: Heart Wounds
Edvard Grieg 1843-1907
The English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Geoffrey Simon

3 Two Elegaic Melodies, op34 - No 2: The Last Spring
Edvard Grieg
The English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Geoffrey Simon

4 Andante con moto from Symphony No 5 in B flat, D485
Franz Schubert 1797-1828
The English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Geoffrey Simon

5 The Swan of Tuonela, Op22
Jean Sibelius 1865-1957
The Philharmonia conducted by Geoffrey Simon, Christine Pendrill, English horn

6 Adagio from Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op115
Johannes Brahms 1833-1897
James Campbell, clarinet, Allegri String Quartet

7 Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor
Alexander Borodin 1833-1887
The Philharmonia & The BBC Symphony Chorus conducted by Geoffrey Simon

8 Romance No 2 in F, Op50
Ludwig van Beethoven 1770-1827
Stephanie Chase, violin, The Hanover Band conducted by Roy Goodman


CCL CDG1271
Cover image: In the Rose Garden Robert Panitzsch 1921
Private Collection/Bridgeman Art Library
All tracks courtesy of Cala Records and Geoffrey Simon
This compilation p & c 2013 Classical Communications Ltd
Made in Great Britain

Lazy Day Classics
Calm music for an indulgent moment

Calm music to help you while away a lazy day and be a little self-indulgent! Put your feet up, read your favourite book, open a box of chocolates and relax in the company of some of the world's greatest composers.

The music of Ralph Vaughan Williams has a very special sound. A master of orchestration - the technical business of assigning tunes and harmonies to the many and varied instruments of the orchestra - Vaughan Williams studied in Paris with the great Maurice Ravel, whose music is never less than breathtaking in its skillful choice of instruments of the orchestra. To this wonderful technical skill Vaughan Williams brought a love of English folk music and a clear understanding of the music of England's past. So the 'Greensleeves' fantasia features the famous melody, composed in all probability by Henry VIII. But the fantasia begins with a contrasting theme known as 'Saint Joan', a lovely, wistful melody heard from the flute. Gentle music indeed!

Edvard Grieg's experience mirrors that of Vaughan Williams: the Norwegian studied in the mid-nineteenth century with the best composers in Europe (at the Leipzig conservatoire), and sat often at the feet of Franz Liszt. But Grieg's love of the music of his native land led to his return to Norway, where he composed many pieces reflective of the landscape and folklore of that beautiful, mountainous, and, at that time, comparatively isolated country. The 'Elegaic Melodies' express a profound peace and oneness with nature.

Jean Sibelius brought similar skill to his lovely tone poem, 'The Swan of Tuonela', a recreation in music of a Finnish folk tale. Alexander Borodin also used folk themes in his compositions. 'Prince Igor', a powerful opera, was one of his greatest and most successful works, with its thinly disguised nationalistic overtones. The 'Polovtsian Dances' are invigorating and powerful, while composed around one of the most beautiful melodies in the whole repertoire of classical music.

The four composers mentioned so far were all famous for writing music in a specific national style. The other composers on the album were not so concerned with these issues, writing instead as part of a long-established Viennese tradition. The first was Ludwig van Beethoven, who followed closely on the heels of Haydn and Mozart, two of Austria's most illustrious musical sons. Beethoven's 'Romance in F' is primarily a gentle, melodic experience. It avoids any of the anger and aggression which can characterize Beethoven's mature style, and it forms a fitting and gentle end to this programme.

Franz Schubert was famous as a composer of great melodies: more than 600 songs written in Vienna attest to his ability in this area, but all his music is imbued with long, sensuous melodies, none more so than the beautiful 'Andante con moto' from his 5th Symphony, a work written in the shadow of Beethoven, but still original, free and unique. Johannes Brahms, although born in Hamburg, in Northern Germany, found his spiritual home in Vienna. The 'Clarinet Quintet' is a late work. Its outer movements are restless and passionate in style, framing the beautiful and sensuous 'Adagio'.


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