R Strauss - Enoch Arden
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Label: ABC Classics
Cat No: ABC4815558
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 28th July 2017
ArtistsJohn Bell (narrator)
Simon Tedeschi (piano)
Two of Australia’s finest storytellers, actor John Bell and pianist Simon Tedeschi, break new ground with this new recording of the great melodrama Enoch Arden – a deeply moving tale of love, loss, redemption and shipwreck, told through spoken word and solo piano.
It is the story of three childhood friends, Enoch Arden, Philip Ray and Annie Lee. Enoch and Annie marry and start a family, but after Enoch is shipwrecked on an island for ten years, Annie agrees to marry Philip – believing Enoch to be dead. When Enoch returns, he learns of Annie and Philip’s relationship, and of their child together, and chooses to live in seclusion, heartbroken for his own fate but blissful in their happiness.
This album and subsequent national tour marks Tedeschi and Bell's first collaboration. “I wanted to do Enoch,” says John Bell, “because I love working with musicians; I love being up close and watching their technique and feeling the visceral presence of the instruments. I've admired Simon for a long time; he's a bit of an entertainer and showman as well as being a great pianist.”
On this album, Enoch Arden is paired with the stunningly evocative Songs of Dawn (Gesänge der Frühe) for solo piano by Robert Schumann. Written in 1853, towards the end of the composer’s tragic life, the five songs are, Tedeschi notes, “devotional one minute, white-hot the next, and then heartbreakingly lyrical, ending with a hymn-like movement that, to me, is as palpable a winding-down of the human spirit as Beethoven’s last Piano Sonata.”
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