Whatever Happened To The English Chamber Orchestra?

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THEHORN
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Whatever Happened To The English Chamber Orchestra?

Post by THEHORN » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:38 pm

I recently took out the excellent EMI set of the complete Mozart piano concertos with Barenboim conducting the once ubiquitous English Chamber Orchestra from my library. These are among his earlier recordings from the late 60s and early 70s.
This led me me to wonder why we don't see so many recordings by this fine group, which use to make recordings by the barrel until fairly recently , under such conductors as Benjamin Britten, Raymond Leppard, Richard Bonynge, Barenboim and so many others.
I checked the internet for their website, and they're still very much in existence, but they don't seem to have the high profile they used to.
I suppose this may be because there are now so many period instrument orchestras playing the music of the baroque and classical periods, and it's just not politically correct in some people's eyes to
use modern instruments any more.
What do other CMG ers think about the ECO?



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MarkC
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Re: Whatever Happened To The English Chamber Orchestra?

Post by MarkC » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:03 pm

I have some of their old recordings (with Barenboim, on LP) and I thought they were terrific.
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moldyoldie
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Re: Whatever Happened To The English Chamber Orchestra?

Post by moldyoldie » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:22 pm

They comprise two-thirds of my Brandenburgs (Britten and Leppard) and my entire Water Music (Leppard). :D

Actually, they make a sizable footprint in my collection in a diverse array of repertoire; conductors include:
Salvatore Accardo
Benjamin Britten
Steuart Bedford
Benjamin Britten
Jeffrey Tate
Raymond Leppard
George Malcolm
Sir David Willcocks
Matthew Best
Nigel Kennedy

I've always found them to be a band you can count on. :wink: Classical in the classic sense.
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Wallingford
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Re: Whatever Happened To The English Chamber Orchestra?

Post by Wallingford » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:13 pm

The ECO has gone full-tilt for the lucrative British racket of providing pop-song backings.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

John F
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Re: Whatever Happened To The English Chamber Orchestra?

Post by John F » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:53 am

See for yourself:

http://www.englishchamberorchestra.co.uk/

If by "high profile" is meant making lots of recordings, the ECO doesn't any more, but then who does? In the current state of the classical record biz. And having recorded over 1200 works, according to the web site, what's left for them to do anyway, other than repeat themselves?

But of course recording gigs don't tell the whole story. Their current concert diary on the web site shows them on tour in the UK and abroad through mid-April, with dates in Moscow and Istanbul. Clearly they're still in demand, and not just at home.

By the way, search amazon.com for "English Chamber Orchestra" and see what you find. Some of their recent CDs are amazing/amusing, such as "Baroque at Bathtime: A Relaxing Serenade to Wash Your Cares Away."
Last edited by John F on Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RebLem
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Re: Whatever Happened To The English Chamber Orchestra?

Post by RebLem » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:48 am

My #1 all time favorite recording of Handel's Messiah, conducted by Charles Mackerras in 1966 and featuring the incomparable Janet Baker among others, was done with the ECO.
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Wallingford
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Re: Whatever Happened To The English Chamber Orchestra?

Post by Wallingford » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:30 pm

Oh, I don't WANT them to shut down!

I'm making them my numero uno choice of orchestra to see next time I'm visiting London. (Along with BBC Phil., City Of London Sinfonia, at least one foreign orchestra; and the Halle or Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras next time they're passing thru town).
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

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