RUTLAND BOUGHTON (1878-1960): The Queen of Cornwall.
Catalogue Number: 01M005
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: 2CDLX 7256
Description: Boughton created his own genre of the "music-drama", of which the only one recorded until now was Hyperion's The Immortal Hour back in the 1980s and of which the most famous is the five-drama Arthurian cycle, meant to be a British equivalent to Wagner's Ring. Here, we have the English equivalent to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde since the Queen of Cornwall is Isolde (or, in her original language, Iseult). Based on the Thomas Hardy play of 1923, Boughton had it finished by the following spring with Hardy's full approval, adding some Hardy poems to the two songs the poet/playwright had given Sir Tristram in the play in order to vary more the stark, tragic and grim mood of the story. There is a system of leitmotivs, a Greek-chorus like body of Dead Cornish Men and Women who comment on the proceedings and dramatic scenas which move effortlessly from aria to arioso, according to the emotional charge of the scene. The large orchestra (unavailable in the small settings where the composer performed this work) is a true luxury. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Heather Shipp, Patricia Orr (mezzos), Neal Davies (bass-baritone), Peter Wilman (tenor), Jacques Imbrailo (baritone), Members of The London Chorus, New London Orchestra; Ronald Corp.