Gordon Crosse - Ariadne Op. 31 • Changes Op. 17

Sarah Francis, oboe
London Symphony Orchestra Ensemble
Michael Lankester, conductor
Jennifer Vyvyan, soprano
John Shirley-Quirk, baritone
Orpington Junior Singers
Highgate School for Boys Choir
London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Norman Del Mar, conductor

Label: Lyrita
Copyright: 2007 Lyrita Recorded Edition, England
Catalogue number: SRCD.259
UPC/EAN: 5020926025920
Format: CD
Analogue / Digital recording: ADD
Number of discs: 1
Total playing time: 76.52
Price: £ 14.99 (+ postage & packing)

Track 1: Recorded at Kingsway Hall, August 1974, Producer: James Burnett, Engineers: Stanley Goodall, John Dunkerley
Tracks 2 - 15: Recorded at Walthamstow, November 1969

Ariadne was first performed, with outstanding success, at the Cheltenham International Festival on 11 July 1972 by Sarah Francis and Contrapuncti conducted by Michael Lankester. The present recording was made in Kingsway Hall, London, immediately following a performance given with members of the London Symphony Orchestra at a BBC Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall in August 1974. Ariadne has had a considerable number of performances, many of them with Sarah Francis as soloist, and her name stands at the head of the score as dedicatee.

"It says much for Lyrita that their presentation both visual and aural encourages exploration. High standards achieved by them in the 1970s and sustained into the 1980s are one of the label’s hallmarks ... A generous CD then ... which both affirms and denies Crosse's reputation as a disciple of the cutting edge avant-garde ..." Rob Barnett, www.musicweb-international.com Click here to read the full review

"As for the performances, I can single out Jennifer Vyvyan for sheer gorgeousness with those high notes in the Nurse’s Song and beauty of restraint in The Door of Death, and it certainly sounds as if the LSO are playing out of their skins. There is an intense English straightness about some of the diction, and I can imagine the delivery of such lines as ‘Hey nonny no!’ being done a little less in the old BBC received pronunciation these days. That this kind of thing stands out at all only emphasises the international drama and strength of the music as it stands. English it is of course, but, far from advocating some kind of streetwise interpretation - the weight of the music still takes us to places far beyond well modulated tones and Mr. Cholmondeley-Warner. For choral societies looking for an alternative to A Child of Our Time or Noye’s Fludde I would say – go for it!" Dominy Clements, www.musicweb-international.com Click here to read the full review

1 Ariadne Op. 31 (1972) - Concertante for solo oboe and twelve players Gordon Crosse (b. 1937) 23.00
Changes Op. 17 (1966) - A nocturnal cycle Gordon Crosse (b. 1937) 53.52
2 Part I - Sancte Thomas ora pro nobis (Anon.) 8.59
3 Interlude I 1.13
4 Part II - No. 1 Prayer: The night is come (Sir Thomas Browne) 5.43
5 Part II - No. 2 Prayer: God be in my head, and in my understanding (Anon.) 2.12
6 Part II - No. 3 Prayer: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (Anon.) 3.14
7 Part II - No. 4 Nurse’s Song: When voices of children are heard on the green (William Blake) 3.25
8 Interlude II 2.17
9 Part III - No. 1 Bellman’s Song: Along the dark and silent night (Robert Herrick) 1.42
10 Part III - No. 2 Epitaph: O mortal folk, you may behold and see (Stephen Hawes) 3.35
11 Part III - No. 3 Round: Hey nonny no! (Anon.) 2.11
12 Part III - No. 4 Wake all the dead (William Davenant) 3.39
13 Part III - No. 5 Like to the lightning from the sky (Anon.) 4.45
14 Part IV - No. 1 The Door of Death (William Blake) 4.45
15 Part IV - No. 2 A New Year Carol (Anon.) 6.04