Elgar: The Starlight Express / Sir Andrew Davis, Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Elin Thomas, soprano; Roderick Williams, baritone

> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 1: My Old Tunes
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 1: Dandelions, Daffodils
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 1: Miss Waghorn, whose confusion of mind …
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 1: My main idea is this …
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 1: Then Mother spoke …
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 1: A few days later Henry left to return to London
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 2: It was late evening on the day of his arrival
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 2: And suddenly he remembered an extraordinary conversation …
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 2: All three children, perhaps sent back from their nocturnal enterprises …
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 2: Sympathy - Hearts must be soft-shiny dressed'
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act III Scene 2: Jinny said, with her characteristic gravity …
> 3 Songs from The Starlight Express (arr. A. Davis) - No. 1. The Organ-grinder's Song
> 3 Songs from The Starlight Express (arr. A. Davis) - No. 2. The Dustman's Song
> 3 Songs from The Starlight Express (arr. A. Davis) - No. 3. The Gardener's Song
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - I. To the Children
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - II. Andantino
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - III. The Blue-eyed Fairy
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - IV. The sun has gone
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - V. Andantino
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - VI. Lento
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - VII. Allegro
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - VIII. I'm ev'rywhere
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - IX. Wake up, you little Night Winds
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - X. Dance of the Winds
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XI. Lento
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XII. Sun Dance
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XIII. Andante
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XIV. Allegretto
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XV. O, Stars Shine Brightly
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XVI. Dawn Song
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XVII. My Old Tunes
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XVIII. Dandelions, Daffodils
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XIX. Moderato
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XX. Hearts must be soft-shiny dressed
> Starlight Express Suite, Op. 78 (arr. A. Davis) - XXI. Grandioso
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 1: Sun Dance
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 2: Madame Jequier's constant anxiety …
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 2: Dandelions, Daffodils
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 2: In her attic chamber above
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 2: Henry turned to the children
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 3: At the Citadelle
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 3: O, stars shine brightly
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 3: The Sprites had almost finished their task
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 3: The Sprites flitted out, back to the Starlight Express
> The Starlight Express, Op. 78 - Act II Scene 3: Dawn Song

Album Summary

>Elgar, Edward : Starlight Express, Op. 78
>Carey, Clive : Songs (3) from "The Starlight Express", for voice & orchestra
>Elgar, Edward : The Starlight Express, suite for 2 voices & orchestra (arranged by Andrew Davis)
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This fairytale melodrama was adapted from a book by Algernon Blackwood, A Prisoner in Fairyland, for a West End theatre production staged during World War 1, with music by Elgar. Based on a new score, which has been adapted by Sir Andrew Davis, who also here conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, this is the most comprehensive recorded version to date. The two-disc set includes the incidental music with narrative by Simon Callow, and an extended suite of freestanding orchestral movements and songs.

The Guardian, 25th October 2012
There are moments of top-drawer, heart-stopping Elgar here...the music can either be heard as a suite that Davis has arranged, or in the context of the winsome original story - the play replaced with an avuncular narration by Simon Callow. The songs are delivered with just the right lightness of touch.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
The best-known example is surely Handel's Messiah, a long, complex, though finally very powerful work. There are other good examples, such as Mendelssohn's Elijah that are still fairly often performed. Elgar has produced a number of works in this form; the best-known and most effective in performance are The Dream of Gerontius and The Kingdom. Sir Andrew Davis and his excellent soloists, chorus, and orchestral forces try hard to hang these pieces together and to make the symbolism of a celestial choochoo journey work effectively.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Studio 80a, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, Lon (05/28/2012-05/30/2012); Usher Hall, Edinburgh (05/28/2012-05/30/2012); Studio 80a, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, Lon (08/03/2012); Usher Hall, Edinburgh (08/03/2012).



Reviews

All Aboard Elgar Express Fantasy
The Starlight Express by Edward Elgar is a two-CD set compiled from London and Edinburgh recordings, a production of the Scottish National Orchestra under the direction of Sir Andrew Davis. The setting in Edwardian Britain suggests the world of James Barriethe respectable family and beautiful children with boundless imaginations. Narrator Simon Callow sets the scenes and describes the actions; the listener is entranced and succumbs to the magic of fantasyland. The premise of having a secret star society becomes airborne, inviting the audience to slip into the starry sky for adventures among the constellations.


Baritone Roderick Williams and soprano Elin Manahan Thomas portray their roles beautifully. The lilting soprano especially is expressive and full of color. The Scottish National Orchestra never falters, providing the mood and background of the story. The accompanying booklet gives the listener essential background, because without an acquaintance with the tale and history, hearing the CDs would be almost nonsensical. Packaging is especially appealing, with the cover showing a fairy silhouette, steam engine, and starry sky. An attractive box contains the separate CDs and well-documented booklet.


The Starlight Express has not reigned in popularity despite the fetching story, first-rate performers, and Elgars luscious music. There are several limiting factors: the curious listener must be familiar with the composition or become lost in the back-and-forth of the characters and orchestra; this may be unfairly labeled as a childs production; the length of the program can lose the attention of the audience; while lovely, the melodies do not haunt and revisit the memory.


The story evokes other flights of fancy including Peter Pan, Wynken Blynken and Nod, and The Polar Express. Bedtime stories with the notion of magical travel for children continue to appeal to storytellers in new generations. Elgars invitation to climb aboard The Starlight Express offers the adventurer a ticket for an excursion to the land of fantasy and imagination.

Submitted on 02/08/13 by howsweetthesound 
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Works Details

>Elgar, Edward : Starlight Express, Op. 78
  • Performer: Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: Andrew Davis
  • Ensemble: Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 80a, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London (05/28/2012-05/30/2012); Usher Hall, Edinburgh (05/28/2012-05/30/2012); Studio 80a, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London (08/03/2012); Usher Hall, Edinburgh (08/03/2012)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1915

>Carey, Clive : Songs (3) from "The Starlight Express", for voice & orchestra
  • Performer: Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: Andrew Davis
  • Notes: Usher Hall, Edinburgh (05/28/2012-05/30/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 8 sec.
  • Form: Vocal

>Elgar, Edward : The Starlight Express, suite for 2 voices & orchestra (arranged by Andrew Davis)
  • Performer: Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: Andrew Davis
  • Notes: Usher Hall, Edinburgh (05/28/2012-05/30/2012)
  • Running Time: 41 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic