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NEVILLE MARRINER

Neville Marriner was initially taught to play the violin by his father and after receiving lessons from Frederic Mountney he entered the Royal College of Music at the age of thirteen. With the advent of World War II and the military enlistment of many orchestral payers, while still a student he soon gained experience of playing in a professional orchestra, for instance with the London Symphony Orchestra and under conductors such as Sir Henry Wood. When he himself was called up he served in the Royal Navy, participating in motorboat raids into France before D-Day. Having been invalided out of the navy with kidney damage, while in hospital he met the keyboard player and musicologist Thurston Dart, with whom he was later to collaborate extensively. Following the end of the war Marriner returned to the Royal College and then went to Paris to complete his studies at the Paris Conservatoire with René Benedetti. After teaching at Eton College for a year (1947–1948) he became a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1949; in parallel he became a member of the Martin String Quartet as well as of the Jacobean Ensemble, formed with Thurston Dart and another orchestral player, Peter Gibbs. Driven by Dart’s musicological interests, this group specialised in the music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and made several records for the L’Oiseau-Lyre label.

Marriner joined the Philharmonia Orchestra as a violinist in 1952, and became principal second violin of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1956, remaining in this post until 1968. In 1959, having been asked to arrange a series of concerts to be given in the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, he formed a small ensemble named after the church, most of whose members were principal players in the London orchestras. Inspired by Dart’s theories of performance practice as well as irked by the lack of responsibility and variable playing standards then common in most symphony orchestras, Marriner was keen to achieve a high technical standard early on. As he has commented, ‘I think we got together as the Academy to give ourselves…responsibility and to play well. One thing we were looking for from the start was players who really fitted together, who sounded in tune.’ The result was successful and the group was quickly engaged to record, initially for the Argo label. ‘We immediately recorded all those Italian ice-cream merchants—Manfredini, Corelli, and so on,’ Marriner has recalled. ‘So in one leap we had gone from being a friendly society to something almost professional.’ In the same year he participated in Pierre Monteux’s conducting school in Maine in the USA, and gradually he developed a conducting career alongside his work as a violinist.

So successful did Marriner’s numerous recordings with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields prove to be that the group was gradually taken up by other labels such as Philips and EMI. Ten years after its formation, in 1969 Marriner was invited to become chief conductor of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, which was made up of young players and freelance musicians from the Hollywood orchestras. His success with this group led to offers to conduct major American orchestras, for instance those in Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, and San Francisco as well as elsewhere. At the same time in England he served as associate conductor of the Northern Sinfonia from 1971 to 1973, and as artistic director of the South Bank Summer Music Festival in London between 1975 and 1977. Marriner relinquished his post with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 1978 following his appointments as chief conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra (formerly the Minneapolis Orchestra) in 1978 and as artistic director of the Meadowbrook Festival in Michigan in 1979. In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in 1985 he received a knighthood. He returned to Europe in 1986 as chief conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, retiring from this position in 1989, and remaining active throughout this period as a recording artist with the Academy. Subsequently he has enjoyed a career as a freelance international conductor, commenting wittily, ‘The awful thing about a conductor becoming geriatric is that you seem to become more desirable, not less. I just wish all these offers had come in when I was thirty!’

Marriner is a most efficient musician whose vast depth of experience is immediately apparent in his ‘no-nonsense’ approach to conducting. In general his performances are characterised by brisk tempi, elegant phrasing, and an insistence upon high technical standards. On the podium he is extremely clear in his gestures, which tend to be economical whilst also expressive. His recorded repertoire with both the Academy and other orchestras is enormous, covering the full gamut of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century repertoires, and moving as far into the twentieth century as the English composers Michael Tippett and Nicholas Maw. He has also had considerable success recording operas and choral works. As to repertoire, Marriner has catholic views, believing that ‘…the modern and avant-garde composers of today will be part of the standard repertoire thirty years from now.’ He also sees a continually developing role for the orchestra which he founded with his wife, Molly, viewing it ‘…as a regenerative institution. I would like new people with new ideas to come into it and change it.’ The influence of the Academy should not be under-estimated. As the critic and writer Norman Lebrecht has noted, its creation by Marriner ‘…altered the ecology of concert life, reviving the chamber ensemble as a viable alternative to big bands, and forcing orchestras everywhere to improve string intonation…He [Marriner] took hold of a tradition, improved it beyond previous recognition and preserved it in transmissible form.’

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Patmore (A–Z of Conductors, Naxos 8.558087–90).


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Arranger | Conductor
Role: Arranger 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
20TH CENTURY COMPOSITIONS - ORFF, C. / RACHMANINOV, S. / RAVEL, M. / REGER, M. / STRAUSS, R. / STRAVINSKY, I. / RESPIGHI, O. / PROKOFIEV, S. Capriccio
C49007
Orchestral
ADAM, A.: Giselle [Ballet] (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Capriccio
C10568
Ballet
BACH, J.S.: Arias - BWV 21, 51, 53, 82, 199, 244, 248 Capriccio
C10882
Vocal
BACH, J.S.: Keyboard Concertos, BWV 1052-1058 (Kipnis) Newton Classics
NC8802186
Concertos
Ballets - DELIBES, L. / CHOPIN, F. / ADAM, A. / MASSENET, J. / DEBUSSY, C. (Fricke, Marriner, Pommer, Sandor) Phoenix Edition
Phoenix416
Ballet, Orchestral
BARTOK, B.: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / The Miraculous Mandarin Suite (Kocsis, Budapest Philharmonic, Lehel) Capriccio
C71044
Orchestral
BARTOK, B.: The Miraculous Mandarin Suite / Dance Suite / Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Marriner) Capriccio
C10417
Orchestral
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Overtures - Opp. 43, 62, 72 (Marriner) Capriccio
C10548
Orchestral, Ballet, Orchestral
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Overtures (Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Marriner) Capriccio
C10549
Orchestral
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Violin Concerto (Kremer, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Newton Classics
NC8802064
Concertos
BEVERIDGE: Yizkor Requiem Naxos
8.559453
Choral - Sacred
BRITTEN, B.: Sinfonietta, Op. 1 / Sinfonietta da Requiem / HONEGGER, A.: Symphony No. 3, "Liturgique" (Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Marriner) Capriccio
C10428
Orchestral
BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 0 (Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Marriner) / Motets (Dresden Kreuzchor, Flamig) Capriole
CA14091
Orchestral
CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO: Naomi and Ruth / Sacred Service for the Sabbath Eve Naxos
8.559404
Choral - Sacred
CHRISTMAS CONCERT (Stille Nacht) Capriccio
C10487
Orchestral
CHRISTMAS FESTIVE CONCERT - BACH, J.S. / HANDEL, G.F. / PRAETORIUS, M. / MANFREDINI, F.O. / MENDELSSOHN, Felix / GABRIELI, G. Capriccio
C49310
Orchestral
CHRISTMAS MEDITATION Capriccio
C7073
Orchestral
CLASSIC ARCHIVE: Murray Perahia - BEETHOVEN, L. van.: Piano Concertos (Blu-ray) Ideale Audience
3085294
Classical Concert
CLASSIC ARCHIVE: Murray Perahia - BEETHOVEN, L. van.: Piano Concertos (NTSC) EuroArts
3085298
Classical Concert
CLASSIC COLLECTION - GERSHWIN, G.: Rhapsody in Blue / Piano Concerto / An American in Paris / Cuban Overture / Porgy and Bess (excerpts) Capriccio
C51156
Orchestral, Concertos
CLASSIC COLLECTION - STRAUSS, R.: Also sprach Zarathustra / Metamorphosen / Don Juan / Till Eulenspiegel / Rosenkavalier Suite Capriccio
C51159
Orchestral, Opera, Orchestral
CLASSIC MASTERWORKS - Antonin Dvorak Capriccio
C49039
Orchestral
CLASSIC MASTERWORKS - Joseph Haydn Capriccio
C49026
Concertos
CLASSIC MASTERWORKS - Peter Tchaikovsky Capriccio
C49031
Orchestral
CLASSIC MASTERWORKS - Richard Strauss Capriccio
C49035
Orchestral
CLASSIC MASTERWORKS - Robert Schumann Capriccio
C49042
Orchestral
CLASSIC MASTERWORKS - Sergei Rachmaninov Capriccio
C49036
Orchestral
CLASSIC MOODS - BACH, J.S. / VIVALDI, A. / BUFFARDIN, P.-G. / DOWLAND, J. / ALBINONI, T.G. / HANDEL, G.F. / PURCELL, H. / PESCETTI, G.B. Capriccio
C18409
Opera
CLASSIC MOODS - TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I. / DVORAK, A. / GRIEG, E. / DELIBES, L. / BRAHMS, J. / RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A. / MAHLER, G. Capriccio
C18407
Orchestral
DVORAK, A.: Carnival / Othello / The Water Goblin / Overture to Dimitrij (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Capriccio
C71075
Orchestral
DVORAK, A.: Symphony No. 9, "From the New World" / Overtures (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Capriccio
C10386
Orchestral
ELGAR, E.: Variations on an Original Theme, "Enigma" / The Wand of Youth Suites Nos. 1 and 2 (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Capriccio
C10501
Orchestral
FAMOUS AUSTRIAN COMPOSERS - STRAUSS / MOZART, W.A. / SCHUBERT, F. / BEETHOVEN, L. van / HAYDN, F.J. / HAYDN, M. / ALBRECHTSBERGER, J.G. Capriccio
C49370
Orchestral, Concertos
HANDEL, G.F.: Choral Music (Coronation Anthems) (Marriner) Newton Classics
NC8802016
Choral - Sacred
HANDEL, G.F.: Opera Arias / Sacred Arias / Italian Cantatas (Kowalski) Capriccio
C7061
Choral - Sacred, Vocal
HAYDN, F.J.: Concertos (Friedrich, Lencses, Kalafusz) Capriccio
C51102
Concertos
HAYDN, F.J.: Oboe Concerto, Hob.VIIg:C1 / HUMMEL, J.N.: Introduction, Theme and Variations, Op. 102 / MARTINU, B.: Oboe Concerto, H. 353 (Lencses) Capriccio
C10308
Orchestral, Concertos
HAYDN, F.J.: Symphonies / Concertos / String Quartets / The Creation (Masterpieces) Capriccio
C49520
Concertos
HAYDN, F.J.: Symphonies Nos. 6-8 (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Newton Classics
NC8802006
Orchestral
HAYDN: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Piano Concerto in D Major, Hob.XVIII:11 (NTSC) EuroArts
2072068
Classical Concert
JALBERT, P.: Chamber Symphony / BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Kahane, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra) (Los Angeles CO 40th Anniversary) Yarlung Records
YAR05784
Concertos
MAHLER, G.: Lieder (Shirai) Capriccio
C10712
Vocal
MARRINER CONDUCTS MOZART (NTSC) EuroArts
2054678
Classical Concert, Orchestral
MASSENET, J.: Ballet Suites (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Capriccio
C10569
Orchestral
MENDELSSOHN, Felix: Overtures (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Capriccio
C10708
Orchestral
MIDNIGHT LOUNGE - Chill Out Classics and Meditation Capriccio
C49326
Orchestral
MOZART, W.A.: Piano Concertos Nos. 14 and 27 / Rondo, K. 382 (I. Jacoby, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Orchestra, N. Marriner) ICA Classics
ICAC5125
Concertos
MOZART, W.A.: Schauspieldirektor (Der) [Opera] (Nadelmann, Sala, Schenk, Marriner) Phoenix Edition
Phoenix104
Opera
MOZART: GREATEST HITS (NTSC) EuroArts
2010005
Classical Concert
Orchestral Music - BOYCE, W. / PURCELL, H. / MOZART, L. / BEETHOVEN, L. van / HUMMEL, J.N. / ADAM, A. (Sir Neville Marriner Jubilee Edition) Capriccio
C49266-5
Orchestral, Concertos, Ballet, Orchestral
Orchestral Music - HANDEL, G.F. / BEETHOVEN, L. van / MENDELSSOHN, Felix / BRITTEN, B. (Marriner) (NTSC) ICA Classics
ICAD5064
Classical Concert
Orchestral Music (American) - GERSHWIN, G. / BARBER, S. / BERNSTEIN, L. / COPLAND, A. (American Classics, Vol. 2) (Marriner) Capriccio
C10466
Orchestral, Ballet, Orchestral
PURCELL, H.: Opera Suites (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Capriccio
C10567
Orchestral
RACHMANINOV, S.: Symphony No. 2 / Vocalise (Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Marriner) Capriccio
C10306
Orchestral
SCHUBERT, F.: Symphonies Nos. 1-10 (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Orchestra, Marriner) Newton Classics
NC8802033
Orchestral
SCHUMANN, R.: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 / Piano Concerto / Symphonic Etudes / Kinderszenen (Holtmann, Varjon, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Marriner) Capriccio
C49483
Orchestral
STRAUSS, R.: Oboe Concerto / Metamorphosen (Lencses, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Marriner) Capriccio
C10231
Concertos, Orchestral
STRAUSS, R.: Orchestral Music / Opera Excerpts (Jubilee Edition) Capriccio
C49272-6
Orchestral, Opera, Orchestral
SUNSET CLASSICS Capriccio
C67107-08
Orchestral
TCHAIKOVSKY, P.: Suites Nos. 3-4 (Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Marriner) Capriccio
C10200
Orchestral
TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Francesca da Rimini / 1812 Festival Overture / Capriccio Italien / Slavonic March (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner) Capriccio
C71042
Orchestral
TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Orchestral Suites Nos. 1-4 / Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture / Francesca da Rimini / Capriccio Italien (Marriner) Phoenix Edition
Phoenix412
Orchestral
TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Suites Nos. 1-2 (Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Marriner) Capriccio
C10227
Orchestral
Trumpet Recital: Friedrich, Reinhold - HAYDN, F.J. / HUMMEL, J.N. / PUCCINI, M. Capriccio
C10598
Concertos
Trumpet Recital: Friedrich, Reinhold - HUMMEL, J.N. / HAYDN, M. / HAYDN, F.J. / MOZART, L. Capriccio
C71005
Concertos
Violin Recital: Chalifour, Martin - STUCKY, S. / LUTOSLAWSKI, W. / SALONEN, E.-P. / MOZART, W.A. (Chalifour in Walt Disney Concert Hall) Yarlung Records
YAR67893
Concertos
Vocal Music (Ballads and Songs) - SCHUBERT, F. / WOLF, H. / LOEWE, C. / LOEFFLER, C.M. / MAHLER, G. / MENDELSSOHN, Felix / REUTTER, H. / LISZT, F. Capriccio
C67103
Vocal
Vocal Recital: Kowalski, Jochen - BACH, J.S. / HANDEL, G.F. Capriccio
C10532
Vocal
WEBER, C.M. von: Bassoon Concerto, Op. 75 / Andante e Rondo ungarese / BRAHMS, J.: Double Concerto, Op. 102 (Turkovic, Hoelscher, Boettcher) Capriccio
C10496
Concertos





 
 
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