℗ ℗ 2019 Chandos
 

Bliss: The Enchantress, Meditations on a Theme by John Blow & Mary of Magdala

Sarah Connolly, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, BBC Symphony Chorus, James Platt

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The Enchantress, F. 157  
1
No. 1, Bring Me the Laurel Leaves
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
3:21
2
No. 2, Oh Moon, Shine Fair
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
5:09
3
No. 3, Silent the Sea
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
1:46
4
No. 4, How I Saw Him in the Street
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
3:57
5
No. 5, And Now in the Fire I Fling You
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
2:56
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, F. 118  
6
Introduction. The Lord Is My Shepherd
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
6:39
7
No.1, He Leadeth Me Beside the Still Waters
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
2:52
8
No. 2, Thy Rod and Staff They Comfort Me
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
2:47
9
No. 3, The Lambs
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
2:38
10
No. 4, He Restoreth My Soul
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
2:34
11
No. 5, In Green Pastures
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
4:33
12
Interlude. Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
4:06
13
Finale. In the House of the Lord
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
6:00
Mary of Magdala, F. 31  
14
I. Ashen the Sky
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Symphony Chorus; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
4:23
15
II. At Last, at Last
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
3:35
16
III. Look There, Look There
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Symphony Chorus; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
1:09
17
IV. Why Trouble Ye Her?
Sir Arthur Bliss; James Platt; BBC Symphony Chorus; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
1:12
18
V. The Proud Aegyptian Queen
Sir Arthur Bliss; BBC Symphony Chorus; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
1:58
19
VI. Surely This Was the Place
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
1:57
20
VII. But What Are Those Two Strangers
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; BBC Symphony Chorus; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
2:40
21
VIII. But Who Is That Yonder
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; James Platt; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
4:07
22
IX. Mary, Mother Was the Pleasant Blower
Sir Arthur Bliss; Sarah Connolly; BBC Symphony Chorus; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis
6:11
Digital Booklet
Total Playing Time    76:30
Bliss composed "The Enchantress" in 1951, the year of his sixtieth birthday, for Kathleen Ferrier. The text is a free adaptation of the "Second Idyll of Theocritus", made by Henry Reed, and well suited to Bliss’s love of classical Greek authors. "Meditations on a Theme by John Blow", from 1955, was written for the CBSO, the first in a number of commissions from the John Feeney Trust. Inspired by John Blow’s "Coronation Anthems", the work is a set of variations on a Sinfonia from that collection, each variation reflecting the text of a verse from Psalm 23. Described as a sacred cantata, "Mary of Magdala" was Bliss’s second Feeney Trust commission, composed during 1962 and 1963. For a libretto, Bliss turned to Christopher Hassall, his collaborator on three previous works, including "The Beatitudes".

Bliss conducted the premiere at the Three Choirs Festival in 1963, and wrote in his programme note: ‘One of the loveliest stories in the New Testament is that in the 20th chapter of St John’s Gospel, telling of how Mary Magdalene, lingering at the sepulchre, was the first to see the risen Christ. She, supposing him to be the gardener.’ The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus give of their best under their former chief conductor Sir Andrew Davis, and the contributions from the soloists, Dame Sarah Connolly and James Platt, are outstanding.
96 kHz / 24-bit PCM – Chandos Studio Masters

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