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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


RECORDING OF THE MONTH

 

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Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006)
The Malcolm Arnold Edition - Decca Universal
Volume 2 – Seventeen Concertos
DECCA UNIVERSAL 4765343 [4 CDs: 79:33 + 69:03 + 55:35 + 69:05]



CD1

Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra, Op.77 (1962) [15:27]
Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra, Op.108 (1971) [20:03]
Concertino for Oboe and Strings, Op.28a (1953) [08:51]
Concerto for Flute and Strings, Op.45 (1954) [10:41]
Concerto No.2 for Flute and Orchestra, Op.111 (1972) [12:42]
Concerto for Recorder and Orchestra, Op.133 (1988) [11:08]
Kenneth Sillito, Lyn Fletcher (violins)
Rivka Golani (viola)
Nicholas Daniel (oboe)
Karen Jones (flute)
Michala Petri (recorder)
London Musici/Mark Stephenson
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Vernon Handley (oboe)
English Chamber Orchestra/Okku Kamu (recorder)
CD2

Concerto for Clarinet and Strings, Op.20 (1949) [15:58]
Clarinet Concerto No.2, Op.115 (Cadenza by Richard Rodney Bennett, written for this recording) (1974) [15:59]
Concerto No.1 for Horn and Orchestra, Op.11 (1944) [22:33]
Concerto No.2 for Horn and Strings, Op.58 (1956) [13:58]
Michael Collins (clarinet)
Richard Watkins (horn)
London Musici/Mark Stephenson
CD3

Concerto for Piano Duet and Strings, Op.32 (1951) [20:00]
Concerto for 2 Pianos (3 hands), Op.104 (1969) [13:31]
Fantasy on a Theme of John Field, for piano and orchestra, Op.116 (Dedicated to John Lill) (1975) [21:42]
John Lill (piano) (Field)
David Nettle and Richard Markham (pianos)
London Musici/Mark Stephenson (duet)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley
CD4

Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra, Op.46 (1954) [09:29]
Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra, Op.67 (1959) [22:20]
Concerto for 28 Players, Op.105 (1970) [21:23]
Philharmonic Concerto, Op.120 (1976) [15:19]
Tommy Reilly (harmonica)
Eduardo Fernández (guitar)
London Sinfonietta/David Atherton (Harmonica)
English Chamber Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth (Guitar)
London Musici/Mark Stephenson (28)
BBC Concert Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Philharmonic)
Full track and recording details at end of review
DECCA UNIVERSAL 4765343 [4 CDs: 79:33 + 69:03 + 55:35 + 69:05]

The John Kehoe Conifer legacy of Arnold recordings has become something of a grail. As with many such inaccessible objects of desire one must disentangle the glamour of inaccessibility from the intrinsic worth of the performances. The Conifer Arnold series has been deleted and largely out of the hands of music-lovers, collectors and enthusiasts for about a decade; nothing like the timescale of deprivation for English music on Lyrita vinyl or the Gerhardt RCA Classic Film Scores legacy but parallels can be discerned.

There are some scintillatingly superb and poetically poignant performances in this box but not everything is the best in the market. I will try to point out in this review where other Arnold discs might ideally be added as a supplement. That said there are many unique recordings here and much that stands supreme in the Arnold discography and catalogue. Otherwise there should be and is much praise for Decca and for John Kehoe (and in a small footnote) to Sony-BMG for striking a deal that has brought these concertos together into one logical box though with one really glaring omission: the Oboe Concerto – it was never recorded by Conifer.

Here in one box is represented most of one core aspect of the Arnold catalogue. Amongst these works you will find music that one could plausibly call The Essential Arnold. But you will not find many grand assaults on the emotions, the scarifying torment, the internal conflicts or the unalloyed tragedy of the symphonies. There is no substantial equivalent among the concertos of the counterpoint of pain and ecstasy to be heard in the second movement of the Sixth Symphony or in much of the Seventh and Ninth. Perhaps you would not expect that but the interplay between solo instrument and orchestra could have been a vehicle for conflict and vituperation. It is simply that Arnold chose the symphony to be the vehicle for such psychological expression and costly exploration. Even so the concertos are by no means all sunshine and there are bleak and despairing moments. You will also encounter irresistible melancholy alongside the voice of the irrepressible singer and the jovial clown-bon viveur.

Arnold is never longwinded. If what he says takes a long time to say it is because it could not be said in a shorter time. The concertos are evidence of this concision with the works running from 9:29 to 21:30. It is also interesting to note that they span a half century: that’s every decade during which he was creatively active; from the confident 1940s through maturity and onwards to the bleaker times of the 1980s.

What we hear are fourteen concertos recorded by Conifer with Mark Stephenson’s London Musici and various orchestras conducted by Handley. The Conifers derive from two all-concerto discs (CDCF172 and CDCF228) and a selection of other Conifer anthologies; all deleted. To these have been added outliers garnered from Decca anthologies including Fernandez’s Guitar Concerto and Reilly’s Harmonica Concerto as well as Sony-BMG’s Recorder Concerto with Michala Petri. Some of the Decca originals have been heard before on CD notably on Decca 468 803 as the single disc Arnold chapter in The British Music Collection. Incidentally these three Arnold Edition boxes also form part of The British Music Collection.

Recording quality is excellent throughout; as it is for the first two volumes of the Arnold Edition. It is only in the third volume that there are a very small number of items from the 1940s and 1950s that stand out amid the analogue FFRR and the digital splendours.

CD1

The Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra is a serious work but not as much as Paul Kling and Peter McHugh would have us believe on their Louisville issue review which was for many years our only way of getting to know it. It was written for Menuhin and Albert Lysy who gave the premiere, with the composer conducting, in 1962. The concerto lacks the ripest romantic reach of some of his works although that dimension is never totally absent – listen to the sighing-breathing writing in both the first and second movements. Perhaps any two violin concerto will call up cool-blooded Bachian references as well as thoughts of Holst’s similarly specified concerto – though the Arnold is not neo-classical. Sillito and Fletcher bring out the romantic fibre of the piece.

I have not heard the versions by Igor and Vesna Gruppman and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra conducted by Donald Barra on Koch 37134-2 nor that by Albert Lysy and Sophia Reuter with Camerata Lysy conducted by Yehudi Menuhin on Dinemec DCCD 001. By the way if you have the now deleted BBC Radio Classics set 15656 91817 you can hear a slightly more tender and yieldingly laid-back version than the Conifer. It’s from Alan Loveday and Frances Mason with the LPO conducted by the composer. The composer there allows himself just over 17 minutes by comparison with 15:32 in the Conifer version and the work benefits from that additional span.

The Viola Concerto is from 1971 and you can hear it played by Roger Best in its first broadcast performance on 18 October 1971. First though you have to track down BBC Radio Classics 15656 91817 – long deleted. There the Northern Sinfonia are conducted by the composer. There’s little between Best and Golani - even the signature tone of the viola sounds similar - except that Golani for Conifer-Decca sets a slower pace in the middle movement. There are lovely insouciant Arnoldian moments even though in the finale the composer succumbs to some arid passages. You are in safe and inspired hands with this Golani version.

Then comes a work for oboe and strings which appeared originally as a filler with the Arnold Ninth Symphony on Conifer 75605 51273 2. This is not the Oboe Concerto but the Oboe Concertino. The Oboe Concerto is absent from the present Decca set and is best heard played by Donald Hunt (EMI Classics 3 70563 2) rather than the hasty version from Jennifer Galloway on Chandos CHAN 9967. I have not heard Malcolm Messiter/Ross Pople London Festival Orchestra on Arte Nova 74321 46503-2 which resurfaced for a while on Hyperion CDA66332. If the Oboe Concerto is amongst his masterworks – as I believe it to be – then this Oboe Concertino is another gift. It is a gift partly by the composer and partly by Roger Steptoe who took Arnold’s Oboe Sonatina and orchestrated it. You can tell it is not pure Arnold by the orchestral treatment which is more RVW than echt-Arnold. Still the work is a most beautiful and succinct piece which across its nine minutes traverses much the same territory as the Concerto. Both the Concerto and the Sonatina were written for Leon Goossens. Do not miss the Concertino amid the riches of this set. It is most poetically and smoothly played by Nicholas Daniel – exactly as we would expect from an artist who amid many other triumphs has done so much for neglected British music.

(An aside: we never seem to hear of Roger Steptoe these days. I think that is very regrettable. You can read more about him at http://www.impulse-music.co.uk/rogersteptoe/ )

Then come the two three movement Flute Concertos from Karen Jones. Neither is longer than 13 minutes. They were both written for Richard Adeney; one in 1954; the other at his insistence in 1972. By the way Adeney was also the dedicatee of the Flute Sonatina. Jones is recorded forward in the audio image and puts both concertos through their paces. The first is typically flighty and virtuosic with one of Arnold’s finest songful andantes. The second, while having its brilliant moments, is more pensive and hemmed in by shadows. It rather nicely flanks a vivace with two more reflective movements, the second of which has a decidedly cool French air. A poetic work for sure. You can hear Adeney in both concertos on EMI Classics 0946 3 70563 2 5 only recently (2006) reissued. It was previously on EMI Studio CDM 7 63491 2. An invaluable and inexpensive instalment in the British Composers series, the EMI disc is packed with six concertos running to just short of eighty minutes. Added to the two flute works are the concertos for horn (1); clarinet (1) and trumpet. The EMI disc is a strongly recommended supplement to this Decca set not only because of the dedicatee’s take on the two flute works but also because it includes the best version of the Oboe Concerto and the only version of the Trumpet Concerto. Neither the Trumpet Concerto nor the Oboe Concerto appear on this Decca set. Adeney’s recordings of the two works are in 1980 analogue and he is recorded very close-up without the more naturally distanced yet still assertive placement adopted for the Conifer disc. There’s little between Adeney and Jones though in the Second Concerto I thought Adeney was a shade more soulful.

The Recorder Concerto dates from that dramatically intense burst of activity in 1988 – the same period that saw the completion of the Ninth Symphony for Charles Groves. Written for Michala Petri it strikes me as cooler emotionally than much of his other music and just a shade warmed-over rather than fresh from the creative furnace. It carries overtones of Nielsen’s writing. The best movement is the finale which has a few remarkably Mozartian moments amongst the whooping, slurred and piping hallmarks. There’s also a dash of fleeting nostalgic sweetness. This recording was originally issued on RCA 09026 62534-2.

CD2

The First Clarinet Concerto was written in 1949 for the leading British clarinet of the day, Frederick Thurston (1901-1953). It is interesting to compare this concerto with Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto – both date from about the same time. The Arnold is more brusque and there are moments here when Arnold has an eye on the Edinburgh audiences in thorny and even ruthlessly determined writing for strings. While there are some gruff moments the Finzi more consistently explores the English pastoral homeland in the composer’s distinctively poignant way. Angela Malsbury on EMI is closely recorded with great impact – those pizzicati in the first movement almost pop with power. Stereo separation is used to the most dramatic effect. Thea King (Thurston’s widow) on Hyperion is more naturalistically recorded on Helios CDH55060 which also offers the Second Concerto and works by Maconchy and Britten (previously Hyperion CDA66634). It also includes an unconsidered trifle in the shape of Christopher Palmer’s arrangement of a piece lasting 2:37 – the Scherzetto from Arnold’s film music for You Know What Sailors Are. On the Conifer disc we hear another brilliant mainstay of the British music revival: Michael Collins. Collins won the BBC Young Musician of the Year with the Finzi Clarinet Concerto. I recall hearing him playing the work live at the Second Finzi Festival. In the case of Arnold 1 he is faster than both Malsbury (EMI) and King (Hyperion) but he does not sound rushed and the music registers well emotionally. His tone is succulent and he is nicely placed in the audio image. If pushed I might well recommend Malsbury above him simply because, by a shading, she characterises the music with brighter colours.

The Clarinet Concerto No. 2 has a first movement that is by turns fey and scatty. The central Lento is a less of a glance and more of a long lingering Brief Encounter. It seems to catch the composer looking wistfully back over two or three decades even if later it begins to seethe with a much more modern angst. The whooping flapper returns at the start and end of the Pre-Goodman Rag finale but softens into irresistible nostalgic 1950s sentimentality before hinting at the military bands of Mahler and Ives. Those sweetly melancholy reflections in the finale remind us of similar moments in the Eighth Symphony (Collins at 1:06). The Conifer sound has the advantage of being fatter than that of Hyperion but again there is little to choose between them. It should be noted that Collins here takes things a little slower than King.

The Second Clarinet Concerto was dedicated to Benny Goodman ‘with admiration and affection’. It was premiered by Goodman on 17 August 1974 with the Denver Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brian Priestman at Red Rocks, Denver. You need to brace yourselves for the finale almost as much as for the finale of the Concerto for Phyllis and Cyril. Aesthetes beware!

The First Horn Concerto was written for Charles Gregory, first horn and player-chairman of the LPO in 1946. It was premiered by Gregory with Ansermet conducting in December that year. Richard Watkins revels in the work’s immersion in romantic elixir. At 22+ minutes it’s amongst the longest of the Arnold concertos most of which are pretty compact. As befits its scale the mood range is wide and throughout takes in some brooding Sibelian intensity and woodwind chatter. This is poetically done by Watkins and this is the work’s only recording. It is a much more rounded suave work than the First Clarinet Concerto of only five years later.

There’s yet more superb recording quality for the Second Horn Concerto. Again Watkins is the soloist. The writing is more strongly characteristic and all the mature hallmarks are in place – as distinctive as a Martinu or Moeran score. The Andante grazioso is redolent of Ravel’s Pavane. The work was written for Dennis Brain who premiered it at the Cheltenham Festival. The only ‘competition’ is from the deleted BBC Radio Classics double featuring a BBC recording made on 3 March 1969 with the composer conducting the ECO. Alan Civil is quicker than Watkins and his sound is more squat, moist and fruity. You will want to hear the composer-conducted version but Watkins registers most strongly at all levels and his recording is so much better.

CD3

Some of the other works have competition on disc; not so the Piano Duet Concerto. This is from Arnold’s early maturity and is represented in the catalogue only by this recording. Of all the concertos this is the one with virtually declared pretensions toward the serious Brahmsian concerto. Of course nothing here is quite Brahms – it’s more a matter of epic demeanour, serious, thrusting, adventurous endeavour, heroic intent. Its Larghetto is also intensely serious establishing a mood that blends beauty and regret. Its linkage is back to the First Horn Concerto. Nettle and Markham make the dust fly in the finale as the notes scuttle and scintillate across superbly launched and driven string ostinati. The music never once drops its guard or drifts into popular music.

In this it is unlike the Concerto for Three Hands Two Pianos (aka Concerto for Phyllis and Cyril) where everything is unbuttoned and the hair is completely let down. Nettle and Markham however remain models of sobriety even when the composer tips them the wink to let it all hang out. It’s just a shade too strait-laced for me. Mind you if you find EMI CDM7 64044-2 you will catch up with the original pianist pair (Phyllis Sellick and Cyril Smith) and Arnold conducting them. The undiluted article – which may leave you shuddering with embarrassment in the finale. However the first movement is one of Arnold’s grandest inspirations while the Andante is one of his most leisurely drippingly sentimental slow movements. The work is heard at its most extended on the original EMI recording. Intriguingly the same pair take it a minute slower on the version recorded with the BBCSO at the Proms on 16 August 1969. There is another explosively recommendable version although I cannot track it down at the moment. That is a recording made by the redoubtable Boult pupil Douglas Bostock on RLPO Live with Antonio Piricone and Martin Roscoe.

Finally a single movement piece from about the same time as the Seventh Symphony and the Second Clarinet Concerto. In the John Field Fantasy contact with Hoffnung left its mark in the shape of some very effective Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov pastiche seamlessly resolved into a Arnoldian backdrop. All of this is spun from a gracious feminine Field nocturne. The work struck me as a sort of counterpart to Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with some gawky infusions typical of Prokofiev at his most grotesque and Shostakovich in the First Piano Concerto. It’s a work that will surely ascend to popularity in the future. Discover it now in the hands of John Lill – its dedicatee. I have also heard estimable private recordings made by Phillip Dyson who has made a speciality of the piece and by Martin Roscoe.

CD4

The Guitar Concerto has first and final movements that blend the grace of a pavane, the animalistic drive of Django Reinhardt's playing and the warm gardens of Ponce's Mexico and of de Falla's Granada. Surely Stanley Myers must have heard the Allegro before he wrote his Cavatina - or was it the other way around? The Lento is bluesy but also astringent - nightmare-ish - echoing across to Richard Rodney Bennett's Third Symphony. It is a typically lovely work - just listen to the guitar at 1.46 in the con brio movement! - though I am not sure that the 11 minute lento has the concentration to sustain such a long span.

Arnold’s Harmonica Concerto is vintage stuff with a whooping finale that is not short on Spanishry - even castanets. In Reilly’s hands the whole thing is glorious, inventive, nonchalant and outrageously sentimental but it works with a vengeance. This was another Proms commission written in 1954 originally for Larry Adler whose recording was issued on LP by RCA Gold Seal GL42747. Of this piece Adler wrote: "They wanted a 9-minute work and 9-minute work they got. ... In the third movement he (Arnold) has me playing so fast that I can’t see how I do it." Reilly recorded the concerto again, this time for Chandos with Cedric Dumont conducting the Basle Radio Symphony Orchestra on CHAN 9248. There’s also a version on Pavane ADW 7286: Antonio Serrano with the Belgian National Orchestra and Ronald Zollman.

The Concerto for 28 Players is a late work premiered by the composer conducting the ECO on 25 April 1970 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. It is a work of thrumming tension suggestive of Bernard Herrmann in the ruthless hunting tension of the first movement. There is something of Britten’s tautly fanfaring string writing in Serenade in the finale. This is a work dating from some of Arnold’s darkest days and it shows. I have not heard the competing Chandos version (CHAN9509) from the City of London Sinfonia and Richard Hickox. The disc also valuably includes the Gipps Variations and all three Little Suites.

The final disc of the box ends with the Philharmonic Concerto. This, like the Concerto for 28 Players is a concerto for orchestra but then most of his works are in the nature of concertos for orchestra. This is in three movements with percussion touches characteristic of the Commonwealth Christmas Overture and the Fourth Symphony. The middle movement is pessimistic and makes free with some fairly modest dissonance. Given that this was written for the LPO’s Bicentennial tour of the USA with Haitink this is excoriating stuff and while the victorious finale goes convincingly enough through the correct hoops the payload is tragic. The work was commissioned by Commercial Union and premiered on 31 October 1976 by the LPO and Haitink at the Royal Festival Hall who duly gave the first US performance on 7 November 1976 in Chicago. There is a competing recording on the LPO Live label (LPO Live 0013) but I have not as yet received a copy for review. It’s a promising effort setting down a programme at the RFH on 24 September 2004 conducted by Vernon Handley and comprising Beckus, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Flourish for a 21st Birthday, Symphony No.6 and the Philharmonic Concerto.

The Decca box has cut corners on the notes although you get the essentials. The original discs variously carried extensive annotation from Margaret Archibald and Piers Burton Page.

This Decca set together with the other two boxes make 13 CDs – the single largest Arnold collection ever issued at one time. It’s an essential purchase and inexpensive. But do supplement it with the EMI discs of the three Sinfoniettas and the six concertos – two of which fill gaps here. Other works are scattered across the catalogue amid anthologies and other collections. Some can only be had if you can track down deletions, one of the most valuable of these is the BBC Radio Classics 75th Birthday tribute (2 CDs: 15656 91817). It’s Arnold gold. This includes eleven works, ten of which are orchestral with the composer conducting. The analogue source recordings come from BBC broadcasts between 1966 and 1977. If you see this set do not let it escape.

There are seventeen concertos in the present four disc box. This represents a goodly swathe through the genre; most of them but by no means all. Lacking are the completely unknown Shakespeare concerto for cello, the irresistibly limpid oboe concerto, the recorder concertino, the late trumpet concerto, saxophone concerto, the celebratory concerto for organ reviewed at Arnold_Rinaldo.htm, and the recently rediscovered Burlesque for horn and orchestra; the latter premiered at Northampton. The very brief Serenade for guitar and orchestra was once available on LP in a performance by Julian Bream but can now be heard on Chandos CHAN 9963 where the soloist is Craig Ogden. The disc should be invaluable as it also includes the Arnold Guitar Concerto together with the Berkeley concerto and the Five Bagatelles by his friend and film collaborator William Walton. They have been orchestrated for guitar with chamber orchestra. To round out the Arnold picture we must not forget the Fantasy for audience and orchestra and the Grand Concerto Gastronomique for eater, waiter, food and orchestra; the former a Proms ‘special’; the latter a Hoffnung artefact – surprise! surprise!

There are some scintillatingly superb and poetically poignant performances in this generous Decca set. This is crucial Arnold superbly performed and recorded, handsomely packaged and the price is well placed for the consumer. Get the set while you can – discoveries and rediscoveries aplenty.

Rob Barnett

 

Volume 1 The symphonies Volume 2 The Concertos Volume 3 Orchestral Music etc.

 

THE MALCOLM ARNOLD EDITION – Detailed track listing


Volume 2 – SEVENTEEN CONCERTOS

CD1

Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra, Op.77 15:27

1. Allegro risoluto 05:47
2. Andantino 06:55
3. Vivace 02:45
Kenneth Sillito, Lyn Fletcher (violins)
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1989 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Mark Brown
Recording Engineer: Antony Howell
Recorded 27-30 December 1988 at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk
Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra, Op.108 20:03

1. Allegro con spirito 07:27
2. Andante con moto 10:08
3. Allegro vivace 02:28
Rivka Golani (viola)
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1992 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Tim Handley
Recording Engineer: Nick Parker
Recorded 10, 11 and 13 December 1991 in Watford Town Hall
Concertino for Oboe and Strings, Op.28a 08:51

1. Leggiero 02:48
2. Andante con moto 04:18
3. Vivace 01:45
Nicholas Daniel (oboe)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Vernon Handley
P 1996 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Andrew Keener
Recording Engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Assistant Engineer: Andrew Hallifax
Recorded in the Wessex Hall, Poole, Dorset, 17-18 June 1996
Concerto for Flute and Strings, Op.45 10:41

1. Allegro energico 04:04
2. Andante grazioso 04:39
3. Vivace 01:58
Karen Jones (flute)
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1989 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Mark Brown
Recording Engineer: Antony Howell
Recorded 27-30 December 1988 at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk
Concerto No.2 for Flute and Orchestra, Op.111 12:42

1. Allegro moderato 05:44
2. Vivace 03:04
3. Allegretto 03:54
Karen Jones, flute
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1993 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording Engineers: Tryggvi Tryggvason and Andrew Hallifax
Recorded 28-30 June 1993 in All Saints’Church, Petersham, Surrey
 
Concerto for Recorder and Orchestra, Op.133

1. Allegro
2. Lento
3. Vivace
Faber Music

Michala Petri (recorder)
English Chamber Orchestra
Okku Kamu
1995 BMG Entertainment (UK and Ireland) Ltd.
Recording Producer: Ralph Mace
Recording Engineer: Mike Ross-Trevor
Recorded 21-13 June 1992 at The Hit Factory, London
 

 
CD2

Concerto for Clarinet and Strings, Op.20 15:58

1. Allegro 06:36
2. Andante con moto 06:16
3. Allegro con fuoco 03:06
Michael Collins (clarinet)
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1989 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Mark Brown
Recording Engineer: Antony Howell
Recorded 27-30 December 1988 at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk
Clarinet Concerto No.2, Op.115 15:59

1. Allegro vivace 05:48
2. Lento 07:52
3. (The Pre-Goodman Rag) Allegro ma non troppo 02:19
Cadenza by Richard Rodney Bennett, written for this recording
Michael Collins (clarinet)
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1993 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording Engineers: Tryggvi Tryggvason and Andrew Hallifax
Recorded 28-30 June 1993 in All Saints’ Church, Petersham, Surrey
Concerto No.1 for Horn and Orchestra, Op.11 22:33

1. Allegro comodo 07:37
2. Andante con moto 10:12
3. Allegro con brio 04:44
Richard Watkins (horn)
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1993 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording Engineers: Tryggvi Tryggvason and Andrew Hallifax
Recorded 28-30 June 1993 in All Saints’ Church, Petersham, Surrey
Concerto No.2 for Horn and Strings, Op.58 13:58

1. Con energico 05:01
2. Andante grazioso 05:26
3. Vivace 03:31
Richard Watkins (horn)
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1989 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Mark Brown
Recording Engineer: Antony Howell
Recorded 27-30 December 1988 at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk
 
CD3

Concerto for Piano Duet and Strings, Op.32 20:00

1. Allegro 06:52
2. Larghetto 07:05
3. Vivace 06:03
David Nettle and Richard Markham (piano duet)
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1993 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording Engineers: Tryggvi Tryggvason and Andrew Hallifax
Recorded 28-30 June 1993 in All Saints’ Church, Petersham, Surrey
Concerto for 2 Pianos (3 hands), Op.104 13:31

1. Allegro moderato 05:11
2. Andante moderato 05:13
3. Allegro 03:07
David Nettle and Richard Markham (pianos)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vernon Handley
1994 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Andrew Keener
Recording Engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Assistant Engineer: Andrew Hallifax
Recorded on 29 and 31 May 1994 at All Saints’ Church, Petersham, Surrey
Fantasy on a Theme of John Field, for piano
and orchestra, Op.116 21:42

(Dedicated to John Lill)
John Lill (piano)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vernon Handley
1993 Conifer Records Ltd.
Recording Producer: Andrew Keener
Recording Engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Assistant Engineer: Mike Cox
Recorded on 19-20 April 1993 at Henry Wood Hall, London
 
 
CD4

Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra, Op.46 09:29

1. Grazioso 03:49
2. Mesto 03:41
3. Con brio 01:59
Tommy Reilly (harmonica)
London Sinfonietta
David Atherton
Decca Music Group
Recording Producer: Chris Hazell
Recording Engineer: Stanley Goodall
Recorded at St John’s, Smith Square, London on
Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra, Op.67 22:20

1. Allegro 06:22
2. Lento 11:33
3. Con brio 04:25
Eduardo Fernández (guitar)
English Chamber Orchestra
Barry Wordsworth
Decca Music Group
Recording Producer: Paul Myers
Recording Engineer: Jonathan Stokes

Concerto for 28 Players, Op.105 21:23

1. Vivace 06:50
2. Larghetto 09:51
3. Allegro 04:42
London Musici
Mark Stephenson
1993 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Tim Handley
Recording Producer: Nick Parker
Recorded on 10, 11 and 13 December 1991 in Watford Town Hall
 
Philharmonic Concerto, Op.120 15:19

1. Intrada 05:19
2. Aria 06:28
3. Chacony 03:32
BBC Concert Orchestra
Vernon Handley
1998 Conifer Records Limited
Recording Producer: Andrew Walton
Recording Engineer: Richard Millard
Recorded in Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, 13-15 October 1997



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Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


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Reviews from previous months
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