(Including Orchestral Poems, Suites, Serenades,
Variations, Rhapsodies, Concerto Overtures etc)
Written by Composers Born Between 1800 & 1910
A Discography Of CDs And LPs
Prepared by Michael Herman
2008-19 Michael Herman
Index of all national discographies
Most recent update: December 2019
The predecessors to the discography at hand were written in 2007 and had the titles
British and Commonwealth Symphonies (from the 19th Century to the Present)
and British and Commonwealth Concertos (from the 19th Century to the
Present). The current work was originally meant to fill in what its two predecedsors
had omitted namely the remaining orchestral music that did not fit in those two
main categories. However, as often happens in the writing of a book, initial plans
become altered so this discography did not end up paralleling the other two in
several important respects. First of all, as it became quite apparent that the
material that needed to be documented was far more voluminous than originally
thought, it was necessary to change the parameters for inclusion. Thus in this
work the composers were limited to those born between the years 1800 and 1910
in most cases in the British Isles with the exceptions of several born in Australia
(Kelly, Grainger and Benjamin) who became part of British musical life. It is
hoped that both the chronological and geographical boundaries can be extended
at a future date.
As the title implies the contents of this discography consists
of recordings of British orchestral music that have appeared on LPs and CDs. The
definition of "orchestral music" used herein is quite broad and includes
works written for the concert hall as well as for the theater such as overtures
and other orchestral excerpts from operas, ballets and ballet suites, incidental
music and film scores. Music written for band is included selectively and is confined
to a number of composers whose works for military and/or brass band are important
works in those composers catalogues and constitute almost a standard repertoire
in their particular medium. A similar selectivity has been used for the inclusion
of composers of "light" classical music as those selected are as representative
of British orchestral music as any of their more "serious" counterparts.
As in the previous discographies in this series, no attempt has been made
to list every release of every recording of each work. There have just been too
many reissues, especially from the major labels, to make this feasible for many
recordings. Instead what is listed is the most recent release and the earliest
release (if any on LP or CD) of that particular recording. In general, multidisc
compendium releases are omitted unless they contain the sole modern release of
a performance. Due to the material covered, the emphasis is usually on British
releases except when there has been no traceable U.K. release or if a recording
was initially released many years earlier only in the U.S. Finally, most incomplete
recordings of a work have been omitted such as only one Variation from Elgar’s
"Enigma Variations" or one of his "Pomp and Circumstance"
Marches or one planet from Holst’s "The Planets." However, exceptions
are made when an excerpt has taken on a life of its own and the complete work
is rarely or never recorded such as the Minuet from Elgar’s "Beau Brummel"
The entry for each composer consists of two sections. First there is a
compact biographical paragraph that notes some essential information
such as place of birth, higher musical education (including schools and
prominent teachers) and subsequent musical careers in addition to
composing. Compositional styles are not discussed in these paragraphs
and readers are referred to the bibliography where various reference
books that cover this subject are listed.
The second part of each composer entry consists of
lists of his or her orchestral works (other than symphonies and concertos) that
have been recorded and the various recordings of each work. The title of the work
is followed by a year that indicates when the work was either composed, published
or first performed as well as an opus number if it has one. The recordings are
then listed alphabetically by the conductor's name. Each listing of a recording
consists of the following components (if known): (1) Performers (in this order
if all are involved - conductor, soloists, choral group, orchestra), (2) Other
works on the recording. (3) Label and catalogue number and year of issue and (4)
If the recording is a reissue, the original LP or CD release and its year of issue.
Please note that the performers listed are for the entry work and not necessarily
for the works that it is coupled with. Also, in most instances when an entry work
is included in a collection of unrelated (i.e., non-British) music the list of
couplings is not given but replaced by the title of the collection. Finally, there
is some overlap among the discographies as the author felt that some works belonged
in more than one category and, ultimately, the author hopes to combine all three
discographies into one work.
has been written for orchestral groups in Britain for several centuries. However,
this work concentrates on the music written for the so-called "modern orchestra"
that took shape in the nineteenth century. Starting in the previous century as
musicians from the Continent imported a new symphonic tradition and the instrumental
practices that accompanied it, orchestral concerts began to blossom in the British
Isles and native composers began to supply works for these events. In addition,
the establishment of conservatories such as the Royal Academy of Music would assure
a steady supply of new composers and performers to greatly strengthen and expand
For the greater part of the nineteenth century, the orchestral
works of British composers were essentially derivative of German models with Beethoven,
Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms being the most obvious paradigms. National references
began to appear in the titles of a number of works in the latter part of the century
such as Sullivan’s "Irish" Symphony, Parry’s "Cambridge" and
"English" Symphonies, Stanford’s "Irish" Symphony and Mackenzie’s
"Scottish" Piano Concerto but the works were stylistically not very
different from their Continental counterparts. However these very composers ushered
in the "English Musical Renaissance" and their students and successors,
strongly influenced by the folk song movement, studies of the music of the Tudor
Age, Russian romanticism as well as an infusion of impressionism from across the
English Channel would produce orchestral music in the early years of the twentieth
century that would have an unmistakeable British accent.
I have received a lot of help in preparing this discography. First of all, Rob
Barnett of MusicWeb International has been a constant source and conduit of information
as well as helping eliminate a lot of errors by proofreading the entire work.
I am very grateful to him as well as to Len Mullenger who has kindly hosted and
prepared my Discographies for the MusicWeb International website and has always
been amenable to my frequent updates of the material. I was also very lucky to
come into contact with John Knowles whose expertise on the recordings of Sir Edward
Elgar has greatly enhanced my section on that composer. Finally, the following
people have given me some important information that I could not find on my own
and I just want to express my sincere gratitude: Chris Bennett of The Elgar Birthplace
Museum, Paul Brooks of the Barbirolli Society, Sue Creasey of Pavilion Records
Ltd., John France, Gilles Gouset, Rod Hamilton at The British Library Sound Archives,
David Russell Hulme, Lyndon
Jenkins, Stephen Lloyd, Walter Simmons and Douglas Smith.
Please note that all recordings listed are CDs unless specifically designated
as LPs (and in a few very rare instances EPs).
Finally, as this resource is published
online it can always be a work in progress as the author has the ability to amend
the work when necessary with very little difficulty. A work of this type is bound
to contain errors and omissions as so much material has been gathered from so
many diverse sources. Therefore, I ask anyone who reads this book and finds such
errors or omissions to please let me know at the email address below. I would
be very grateful indeed.
Because of the conversion of the discography to pdf,
linking to individual composers is not possible. We have kept the list
so that you are able to see who is included.
Bennett, William Sterndale
Davies, Henry Walford
Elgar, Sir Edward
Gardiner, Henry Balfour
Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong
Moeran, Ernest J.
Nixon, Henry Cotter
Thomas, Arthur Goring
Vaughan Williams, Ralph
Wallace, William Vincent
Bird, John. Percy Grainger. London: Faber & Faber, 1976.
and David Tunley (eds). Australian Composition
in the Twentieth Century. Melbourne: Oxford University Press,
of Canadian Music for Orchestra. Toronto: Canadian
Music Centre, 1976.
F. and C.J. Cuming. The World's Encyclopedia
of Recorded Music (including Supplements) in 3 vols. London:
Sidgwick and Jackson, 1952-57.
The New Grove
Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., in 29
vols., edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. New York:
Hindmarsh, Paul. Frank Bridge: A Thematic Catalogue. London: Faber & Faber,
Holst, Imogen. A Thematic Catalogue of Gustav Holst’s Music. London: Faber
Music Ltd., 1974.
Howes, Frank. The English Musical Renaissance. New York:
Stein and Day, 1966.
and Robert Stradling. The English Musical
Renaisance 1840-1940: Constructing a National Music, 2nd
edition. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001.
Gilles Potvin and Kenneth Winters (eds). Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 1981.
Kennedy, Michael. The Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams. London: Oxford University
Knowles, John. Elgar’s Interpreters on Record: A Discography. London: Thames
(ed.). A Guide to the Symphony. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1995.
Leach, Gerald. British Composer Profiles: A biographical
dictionary and chronology of past British composers 1800-1989,
2nd edition. Gerrards Cross, England: British Music Society,
J. The English Musical Renaissance: Twentieth
century English composers and their works. New York: St Martin's
J. A Label Discography of Long-Playing Records, 3 vols. Blandford, England: The Oakwood Press, 1975.
Anne and Rhian Samuel (eds). The Norton/Grove
Dictionary of Women Composers. New York: W.W. Norton and Co,
Jürgen. Die britische Sinfonie 1914-1945.
Cologne-Rheinkassel, Germany: Verlag Dohr, 1995.
Simpson, Robert. The Symphony, 2 vols. New York: Drake
Slonimsky, Nicolas. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of
Musicians, 8th edition. New York: Schirmer Books, 1992.
Baker's Biographical Dictionary of 20th
Century Classical Musicians (edited by Laura Kuhn). New York:
Schirmer Books, 1997.
(ed). The International Cyclopedia of Music
and Musicians, updated 11th edition. New York: Dodd, Mead and
Classical Record Catalogue (retitled: Gramophone
Classical Catalogue) (1953-1996)
Compact Disc Catalogue (1983-1990)
Playing Record Catalog (retitled: Schwann 1 –
Record and Tape Guide and Schwann Opus) (1949-2001)
AND ACADEMIC SITES
Library Sound Archive http://www.bl.uk/collections/sound-archive/nsa.html
Information Service http://www.bmic.co.uk/collection/searchform.asp
Music Centre Ireland http://www.cmc.ie/composers/index.cfm
Archives Canada http:www.colectionscanada.gc.ca
Music Australia http://musicaustralia.org/apps/MA
New York Public
Library Research Catalog http://catnyp.nypl.org/
Information Centre http://www.wmic.org
Amazon (UK) http://www.amazon.co.uk
Arkiv Music http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/main.jsp
Chandos Records http://www.chandos.net
EMI/Virgin Classics http://www.emiclassics.com
Hyperion Records http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk
MusicWeb International http://www.musicweb-international.com
Naxos Records http://www.naxos.com
AND CONDUCTOR SITES
contemporary composers have their own websites and others can be found on the
websites of their publishers. There are also websites for earlier composers and
conductors that are maintained by societies that promote their music and recordings.
These can be found by typing the composer's name into any search engine.