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Track(s) taken from CDH55395

Benedictus, Op 37 No 3

1888; from Six Pieces for Violin, Op 37

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
Recording details: August 1994
City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Tony Kime
Release date: February 1995
Total duration: 8 minutes 48 seconds

Cover artwork: Scottish Lake after a Storm. Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
Musée de Grenoble


‘A recording like this practically recommends itself—a feast for the ear and the soul, not to be missed under any circumstances’ (American Record Guide)

‘[A] splendid disc. The performances … are exemplary, giving Mackenzie's music the best possible opportunity to speak for itself’ (The Times)
Mackenzie arranged Benedictus for small orchestra, extracting it from his Opus 37 for violin and piano, which was premiered by Lady Hallé. He had originally called it Benedicite, having composed it in Italy where freedom from his demanding schedule of duties gave so much of his finest work the chance to emerge. It was destined to become his best known piece, Mackenzie wryly commenting in 1927 that its success was ‘not yet quite dimmed by forty years of fairly constant wear and tear’ which included twice-weekly performances by the police band in Hong Kong. How they coped with its soaring and expansive beauties can only be guessed at. The gorgeous melody reflects Mackenzie’s deep feeling for the violin, to which is added a sensitive use of harmonic and orchestral colouring. But above all it expresses with sensual beauty a love which is, paradoxically, the purer for it, and is indeed a blessing.

from notes by John Purser © 1995

La mise en musique par Mackenzie du Benedictus est destinée à un petit ensemble, et est extraite de son Opus 37 pour violon et piano. Elle devint son œuvre la plus connue, et était jouée deux fois par semaine par l’orchestre de la force de police de Hong Kong. En 1927, Mackenzie déclara de façon sarcastique que son succès «n’était pas encore diminué par quarante années de fréquent usage». La mélodie, d’une beauté magnifique, et à laquelle sont ajoutées de subtiles nuances orchestrales et harmoniques, reflète les sentiments profonds de Mackenzie pour le violon. Mais par-dessus tout, elle exprime avec une beauté sensuelle un amour qui, de façon paradoxale, en devient encore plus pur, et est une véritable bénédiction.

extrait des notes rédigées par John Purser © 1995
Français: Isabelle Dubois

Mackenzie bearbeitete dieses Benedictus, das er aus seinem Opus 37 für Violine und Klavier entnommen hatte, für kleines Orchester. Es sollte sein bekanntestes Stück werden, und Mackenzie gab 1927 dazu den trockenen Kommentar, daß sein Erfolg „selbst nach vierzig Jahren fast unablässiger Abnutzung noch nicht ganz erloschen“ war—diese „Abnutzung“ schloß zweimal wöchentliche Aufführung durch die Polizeikapelle von Hongkong ein. Die herrliche Melodie spiegelt Mackenzies tiefes Gefühl für die Violine wider, und hierzu fügt er feinfühligen Gebrauch harmonischer und orchestraler Tönungen. Aber vor allen Dingen drückt diese Melodie mit sinnlicher Schönheit eine Liebe aus, die paradoxerweise hierdurch an Reinheit gewinnt und tatsächlich zum Segen wird.

aus dem Begleittext von John Purser © 1995
Deutsch: Angelika Malbert

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