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  Chandos -
  CHSA 5039
  Tippett: The Rose Lake, Ritual Dances - Hickox
  Sir Michael Tippett: The Rose Lake, Ritual Dances

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Richard Hickox (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 1

Review by Edvin February 5, 2006 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The Rose Lake was Tippett´s last orchestral work and it is also one of his most lyrical. He subtitled it "A song without words for orchestra". And how beautifully does it sing. The piece is inspired by a visit to Senegal, Tippett was an avid traveller, and more precisely to a lake known as Le Lac Rose because of its change of colour during the afternoon. This was a perfect starting point to this "rheingold-ish" impression, evocation. It is brilliantly orchestrated, the fourth symphony comes to mind, and as so often Tippett uses the different sections of the orchestra for maximum effects. I mean, instead of blending different instrumental colours he often lets, say, the horns play the part of the brush on the canvas. This antiphonal use is derived from Stravinsky´s middle period and is used to bring the impressionism out of the impressionism. How can I explain? Tippett makes an impression by giving his instruments the greatest clarity possible and by playing them against each other. Thus creating a wide panorama. (Ah well, never mind) In the middle of all this is the percussion section with at least thirty roto-toms (small drums with great impact) and all other things to hit.

This is one of Tippett´s most visionary works and he creates a landscape of so much beauty. As always his thinking is linear with the melody, or song, as a prime force. Here he combines it with an array of gorgeous sounds - it occured to me that there are very few really loud pasages in this music. No aggression, no outbursts. This music is so beautiful, so evocative.

The Ritual Dances from the opera The Midsummer Marriage need no presentaton really. This is music forty years older than The Rose Lake and it´s language is more direct. But oh dear, do I love this music! The opera itself is a masterpiece and these dances are a vital part of it. However, it works perfectly outside the opera, although I really miss the sung parts in the last dance. Especially since it is so cleverly written . Marvellous music from one of the greatest composers Britain has ever produced.

The performances are brilliant. Hickox and his BBC forces in Wales are evidently inspired here. This is much better than the not so good symphony cycle from Bournemouth. The Chandos sound is great and a huge step forward from the disappointing Elgar two. Buy this and let the colours of the lake engulf you.

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Works: 2  

Michael Tippett - Ritual Dances
Michael Tippett - The Rose Lake