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Track(s) taken from CKD540

Siegfried Idyll, WWV103

composer

Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Robin Ticciati (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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Recording details: September 2013
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Produced by Philip Hobbs
Engineered by Philip Hobbs & Robert Cammidge
Release date: February 2014
Total duration: 19 minutes 9 seconds
 
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Reviews

'This is a wonderful celebration of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's 40th anniversary: sparkling performances, showing this independent-spirited ensemble—one of my own favourites—at their best, from three of their recent conductors: Charles Mackerras, associated with the SCO until his death in 2010; Joseph Swensen, now conductor emeritus; and Robin Ticciati, principal conductor since 2009. Mackerras's fresh, invigorating, cleanly detailed account of Mozart's Symphony No 41 'Jupiter', recorded at City Hall, Glasgow in 2007, is one to treasure. Swensen gives a convincing account of Sibelius's relatively unknown The Tempest Suite No 2, Op 109. Ticciati shows his feeling for Wagner in the Siegfried Idyll, all the more powerful for its poetry and restraint. As usual the Linn sound engineers have done an excellent job' (The Observer)

'From Mozart to Maxwell Davies, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra has a healthy, high-grade history of recording. Established in 1974, it is one of the brightest strands in the fabric of British musical life, and its 40th anniversary is being marked on this CD with three of its recent maestros … let's hope there will be plenty more where this came from' (The Daily Telegraph)» More

'This marvellous disc marks the SCO's 40th anniversary by representing its last three principal conductors with a performance apiece. The incumbent, Robin Ticciati, offers Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, to whose exquisite Romantic rubato he is well attuned. By way of a magically atmospheric contrast, Joseph Swensen gives us Sibelius's second suite of incidental music for The Tempest: late poetic miniatures. Crowning the sequence, Charles Mackerras conducts Mozart's Symphony No 41, the 'Jupiter'. The Orchestra shows itself brilliantly adapted to any style and conductor—provided, anyway, they have more than a smack of genius' (The Sunday Times)

'This disc is a special birthday treat to commemorate, in 2014, the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. I'm lucky enough to be a regular at their concerts, and it's a privilege to be living in such close proximity to what is one of the greatest chamber orchestras in Europe, renowned for their precision, clarity, intimacy and sense of community. This anniversary edition is an inspired idea, uniting recordings made by three of the conductors who have been most closely associated with them … happy Birthday to the SCO and here's to the next forty years' (MusicWeb International)» More
Has there ever been so beautiful a birthday present? Siegfried Idyll was Wagner’s gift to his wife, Cosima, on her birthday (Christmas Day) in 1870.

Cosima, Liszt’s daughter, married the conductor and virtuoso pianist, Hans von Bülow, in 1857, but then fell in love with Richard Wagner in 1864. She left her husband in 1866, having already borne Wagner’s first daughter, Isolde, in 1865. Eva followed in 1868, and then came the longed-for son, Siegfried, in 1869. Cosima’s divorce was finalized in July 1870, and she married Wagner the next month. Siegfried Idyll (which uses themes from the opera Siegfried, as well as many private musical allusions) was Wagner’s thank you offering, both for her love and for the gift of a son.

The circumstances of the first performance couldn’t have been more romantic. Wagner had secretly rehearsed thirteen musicians from nearby Lucerne. They assembled quietly that Christmas morning on the staircase of the Wagner’s home, Tribschen, on the shore of Lake Lucerne, Switzerland.

Cosima awoke to the sounds of music. Her diary entry for that day reads: ‘As I awoke, my ear caught a sound, which swelled fuller and fuller; no longer could I imagine myself to be dreaming: music was sounding, and such music! When it died away, Richard came into my room with the children and offered me the score of the symphonic birthday poem. I was in tears, but so was all the rest of the household.’

Obviously, Richard and Cosima were as deeply in love as it is possible to be. This very private composition was the tender expression of that love.

Siegfried Idyll is now often played in a version for orchestra rather than for the chamber ensemble that had originally assembled on Tribschen’s staircase. If anything, the richer tone of the larger string forces enhances the work’s radiant beauty.

from notes by David Gardner 2000

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