Elgar: Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf & The Banner of St. George Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester & Andrew Davis
- Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934): Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer:
- 1Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: Introduction. There Is a Wondrous Book03:07
- 2Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer Summon Now the God of Thunder00:57
- 3Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: The Challenge of Thor04:01
- 4Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: King Olaf's Return06:42
- 5Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: Tell How Olaf Bore the Cross00:38
- 6Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer "The Conversion": King Olaf's Prows at Nidaros03:07
- 7Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer "The Conversion": Behold Me, My People04:58
- 8Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer "The Conversion": As Leaps the Lights of Winter03:02
- 9Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer "The Conversion": Then o'er the Blood-Stained Hog-Stone05:30
- 10Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: Now the Child of Ironbeard Dead00:44
- 11Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: Gudrun06:05
- 12Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: How the Wraith of Odin Old00:48
- 13Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: The Wraith of Odin05:40
- 14Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: Sisters, Sing Ye Now the Song00:43
- 15Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer "Sigrid": Sigrid Sits in Her High Abode02:23
- 16Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer "Sigrid": Sigrid, Hail! With Royal Hand04:30
- 17Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: Hark! She Flies from Wendland Forth00:41
- 18Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: Thyri04:48
- 19Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: The Gray Land Breaks to Lively Green02:19
- 20Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: Thyri, My Beloved06:06
- 21Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: After Queen Gunhild's Death01:30
- 22Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer: The Death of Olaf06:41
- 23Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer, Epilogue: In the Convent of Drontheim01:29
- 24Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer, Epilogue: It Is Accepted03:19
- 25Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf, Op. 30, As Torrents in Summer, Epilogue: Stronger Than Steel04:37
- The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Scene 1:
- 26The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Scene 1: Within Sylene's Walls No Sound Is Heard02:41
- 27The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Scene 1: The Women of Sylene Rend Their Hair01:37
- 28The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Scene 1: Forth from the Palace, Beautiful as Day03:18
- 29The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Scene 1: O Calm Your Hearts03:12
- The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Scene 2:
- 30The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Scene 2: Without a Fear Beside the Dragon's Tarn02:46
- 31The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Scene 2: Hark! 'Tis the Ringing Hoof of Steed02:38
- 32The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Scene 2: Loud Cry the People05:25
- The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Epilogue:
- 33The Banner of St. George, Op. 33, Epilogue: It Comes from the Misty Ages05:34
Info for Elgar: Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf & The Banner of St. George
After having recorded Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (‘Recording of the Month’ in BBC Music), Sir Andrew Davis now turns to two of the composer’s most popular early choral works: Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf and The Banner of Saint George. The recording was made soon after a successful performance, featuring the same ‘excellent Bergen Philharmonic’ and ‘outstanding’ vocal forces: the ‘imposing’ baritone Alan Opie, the ‘high, incisive tenor’ Barry Banks, singing ‘fearlessly in some quite challenging passages’, and the American soprano Emily Birsan, who sang ‘with radiant delicacy’ (The Daily Telegraph).
Dating from his years of ‘apprenticeship’, the two works shaped Elgar’s reputation as a leading orchestrator and most popular British composer of his time. The secular cantata Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf derives from Longfellow’s epic poem about Olaf Tryggvason, who became King of Norway in 995. While the text was heavily adapted and augmented, the use of sophisticated compositional techniques, such as extensive motivic work, resulted in music of great power and solemnity.
The ballad The Banner of Saint George is based on the story of Saint George of Cappadocia, as related by the Bristol poet Shapcott Wensley. It was commissioned by Britain’s leading publisher, Novello, and composed in only one month in 1896. Elgar overcame the prescriptive nature of the words and produced a work of lasting charm, the music rising above the material to create atmosphere, momentum, and colour.
“…Here, under the experienced Elgarian hand of Sir Andrew Davis and the appropriate forces of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and three fine Norwegian choirs (with splendid diction and intonation), the sound quality is vibrant, clear and compelling, and does justice to the enthusiasm of Elgar’s score… For devotees of Elgar and of English choral music of the late Victorian era, this pulsating recording has all those emotional attributes that make the heart beat faster.” (Jeremy Dibble, Gramophone Magazine)
“…Elgar’s music crackles with confident vitality presaging great things … Davis’s expansive conducting and the excellent Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra bring out Elgar’s vivid orchestral textures … a brilliant new recording …” (Michael Scott Rohan, BBC Music Magazine)
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Choir of Collegium Musicum
Edvard Grieg Kor
Andrew Davis, conductor
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is an internationally renowned symphony orchestra with a rich history which spans over more than 250 years. Under the direction of Chief Conductor Edward Gardner, the orchestra has a busy concert schedule, a substantial outreach programme and strong international presence through tours, recordings and the concert streaming service BergenPhiLive. The orchestra is owned by Musikkselskapet Harmonien, which also runs Bergen Philharmonic Chorus and Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
Recognised as one of the most talented conductors of his generation, Edward Gardner assumed his new position as Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2015. He has already led the orchestra on multiple international tours, including acclaimed performances in London, Berlin, Munich and Amsterdam and continuing his hugely successful relationship with Chandos Records.
In demand as a guest-conductor, the 2017-18 season saw Edward debut with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony and Netherlands Philharmonic orchestras; and return to the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Danish National Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestra.
Highlights of the 2018-19 season include re-invitations to conduct the Chicago Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano and the London Philharmonic Orchestra – the latter for concerts in London and New York. Debuts include dates with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Wiener Symphoniker, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestre Nazionale Sinfonica della RAI, and a new production of Káťa Kabanová at the Royal Opera House.
Music Director of English National Opera for ten years (2006-15), Edward has an ongoing relationship with New York’s Metropolitan Opera where he has conducted productions of Carmen, Don Giovanni, Der Rosenkavalier and Werther. Elsewhere, he has conducted at La Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Opéra National de Paris; while opera-in-concert continues to be a part of his work with the Bergen Philharmonic, including an acclaimed Peter Grimes at the Bergen and Edinburgh International Festivals.
Edward was for eight years Music Director of English National Opera and under his direction the ENO has presented a series of stellar productions, most recently Meistersinger and Otello. In recognition of his talent he was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2008 for Best Conductor and in 2009, the Olivier award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.
Sir Andrew Davis
Maestro Davis is conductor laureate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (having previously served as principal conductor), conductor laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (having previously had the longest tenure as chief conductor since BBCSO founder Sir Adrian Boult) and former music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Sir Andrew serves as artistic advisor to the Besançon International Music Festival and is president of the jury for that festival’s 52nd International Competition for Young Conductors.
In the 2011-2012 season Maestro Davis conducts Boris Godunov, Ariadne auf Naxos, and The Magic Flute at Lyric Opera of Chicago. His engagements elsewhere in 2011-12 include the Besançon Festival, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra,the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera (Don Giovanni), BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company (Eine florentinische Tragödie and Gianni Schicchi), Santa Fe Opera (Arabella), the Bergen Festival (La damnation de Faust), and the opening of the Edinburgh Festival. In addition, Sir Andrew will spend several weeks recording for Chandos Records with various orchestras.
In the 2010-11 season Sir Andrew conducted The Mikado (new production), The Girl of the Golden West, and Lohengrin at Lyric Opera of Chicago. He was seen on the podium with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Sir Andrew also returned to the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Proms in London and to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where he led performances of his own new orchestration of Handel’s Messiah. Maestro Davis made return appearances with the Metropolitan Opera (Capriccio), the Canadian Opera Company (Ariadne auf Naxos), the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Peter Grimes), and Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Rusalka).
With the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Davis has led concerts at the Proms and on tour to Hong Kong, Japan, the U.S., and Europe. He has conducted all of the world’s major orchestras, from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw, as well as at opera houses and festivals throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and the Bayreuth Festival.
Maestro Davis has a massive discography on the Chandos, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics International, Capriccio, EMI, and CBS labels, among others. Sir Andrew currently records exclusively for Chandos Records. His first Chandos recording, Elgar’s “Crown of India,” was released in 2010. His recordings of Holst’s “Beni Mora,” “Japanese Suite,” and “The Planets,” and of York Bowen’s Symphonies No. 1 and 2 with the BBC Philharmonic; and of Delius’s “Appalachia” and “Song of the High Hills” with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, were issued in the first half of 2011.
In 2008, Sir Andrew released Elgar’s Violin Concertos, featuring violinist James Ehnes and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra (Onyx Classics), which won Gramophone’s coveted “Best of Category – Concerto” Award. Recordings in 2007 included Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with violinist Min-Jyn Kim and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Sony); a solo recital of operatic favorites sung by soprano Nicole Cabell with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Decca), which in 2008 won the Solti Prize from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique; and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with pianist Yundi Li and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon).
In 1992, Maestro Davis was created a Commander of the British Empire for his services to British music, and in 1999 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List. In 1991, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society/Charles Heidsieck Music Award.
Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Maestro Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. His diverse repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary, and his vast conducting credits span the symphonic and operatic and choral worlds. Sir Andrew is a great proponent of twentieth-century works including those by Janácek, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten, in addition to the core symphonic and operatic composers’ works.
Maestro Davis and his wife, soprano Gianna Rolandi, reside in Chicago where she is the director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago.