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CDG1096Oriental GardenThe musical passion and romance of the EastAll the mystery, exoticism and romance of the East is found in this glorious evocation of an oriental garden. The music includes the lush harmonies of 'Sheherazade', the passion of Delibes' 'Lakmé' and the heady excitement of Saint-Saëns 'Bacchanale'.1 Egyptian March Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Christian Rainer2 Tamborin Chinois Fritz Kreisler Ruggiero Ricci with Bernhard Kontarsky3 Chinese Dance and Arabian Dance Pyotr Il'itsch Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) From The Nutcracker London Festival Orchestra conducted by Alberto Lizzio4 Au fond du temple saint Georges Bizet (1838-1975) From The Pearl Fishers Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill5 Un bel vedremo Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) From Madame Butterfly Maria Spacagna, with the Hungarian State Opera House Orchestra conducted by Charles Rosenkrans6 Humming chorus Giacomo Puccini From Madame Butterfly Hungarian State Opera House Orchestra conducted by Charles Rosenkrans 7 Pagodes Claude Debussy (1862-1918) From Estampes Peter Frankl8 The Young Prince and the Young Princess Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) From Sheherazade Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bystrik Rezucha9 Nessun dorma Giacomo Puccini From Turandot John Oakman with the Czech Symphony Orchestra conducted by Julian Bigg10 The Bell Song Léo Delibes (1836-1891) From Lakmé Lily Pons11 The Queen of the Night Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) From the Magic Flute Katarina Kmetova with the Bratislava Opera Orchestra conducted by Oliver von Dohnanyi12 Ballet music from Aida Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hanspeter Gmür 13 The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) From Solomon European Baroque Orchestra conducted by Roy Goodman14 Turkish March Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) James Gregory with Martin Souter15 Bacchanale Camille Saint-Säens (1835-1921) From Samson et Dalila Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jonel PerleaCCL CDG1096This compilation P &C 2004 Classical Communications LtdImage: Painting of Peonies from the 'Album of Paintings of Flower, Fruits, Birds and Animals' c. 1774, Jiang Yu/Bridgeman Art LibraryProgramme notes by Martin MoritzMade in Great BritainFor further information on The Gift of Music range of high quality CDs, please ask for a catalogue or visit our website: t: 01865 882920, www.thegiftofmusic.comInside book: Oriental GardenThe musical passion and romance of the EastImagine a setting with a water garden with a fountain playing in it, an ornamental bridge, a pergola arbour, a simple but elegant bonsai tree, wind chimes, all placed within an exquisite array of landscaped rocks and circular stones. This vision is one which has delighted and entranced countless generations and is what constitutes a Japanese garden. We invite you to sit in such a mini-paradise, relax and enjoy some pleasant music which, we hope, you will find not only suitable but will also whisk you away to those mystic lands that word 'orient' instantly conjures up.Tchaikovsky was the most romantic of composers. He could paint musical pictures and create fantasy worlds which could enchant both young and old. His timeless 'Nutcracker' ballet, set at Christmas time, is a cornucopia of fabulous melody. The sprightly 'Chinese' and wistful 'Arabian' dances are two delightful, oriental-inspired moments that convey the character of both nations so effectively. For the opera Lakmé, Delibes took the theme of forbidden love set in British-controlled West Bengal in the mid-nineteenth century. Gerald, a British officer, loves and is loved by Lakmé, the daughter of the Brahmin priest, Nilakantha. Swearing to take revenge on the violator of his temple, Nilakantha forces Lakmé to sing at a bazaar so as to identify the perpetrator. When Gerald appears, Lakmé faints, thus giving him away. Nilakantha stabs him but he is nursed back to health by Lakmé in a secret hideout where he is found by a brother officer who persuades him to return to duty. When Lakmé returns, she senses the change in her lover and commits suicide by eating a poisonous leaf. The famous 'Bell Song' occurs in the second act. With its rapid succession of high notes, it is a most demanding showpiece for the coloratura voice. The superb Lily Pons treats the aria with apparent ease.The tales collectively known as 'The Thousand and One Nights' would have been recounted in the market places of ancient Egypt, and before that time in Persia and even earlier, probably, in India. In truth, no one knows where they began. Sultan Schahriar is persuaded of the falseness and faithlessness of all women to the extent that each of his wives is put to death after the first night of marriage. But the Sultana Sheherazade saves her life by arousing the Sultan's interest in tales that she tells him during one thousand and one nights. Driven by curiosity, he delays his wife's execution from day to day, finally giving up his terrible intention altogether. Rimsky-Korsakov was entranced by the tales and composed a symphonic poem comprising four movements. We feature the languorous love music of the third movement: 'The Young Prince and the Princess'Our collection also contains such favourite pieces as the Duet from Bizet's 'The Pearl Fishers' (consistently the most popular work featured on the late Alan Keith's 'Your Hundred Best Tunes'); two glorious excerpts from 'Madame Butterfly'; Kreisler's spirited 'Tambourin Chinois' and an aria which really needs no introduction at all: 'Nessun Dorma' (None Shall Sleep) from Puccini's dramatic opera, 'Turandot'.
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