Lyrita Classics Michael BALFE (1808-1870) The Bohemian Girl: Galop (1843) [1:26]
Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Variations on an Original Theme ‘Enigma’ Op. 36:
X. Dorabella (1899) [2:41] Pomp and Circumstance March No. 5 in C Op. 39 (1930)
New Philharmonia Orchestra/Andrew Davis Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) A Village Romeo and Juliet: The Walk to the Paradise
Garden (1905) [10:49]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Myer Fredman Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Shepherd’s Hey; The Immovable Do (1908-13;
1933-42) [2:11; 5:04]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite SirHamilton
HARTY (1879-1941) An Irish Symphony: The Fair-Day (1904) [3:01]
New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930) Capriol, Suite for full orchestra (1926-28) [9:47]
London Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite Lord BERNERS (1883-1950) The Triumph of Neptune: Hornpipe (1926) [1:50]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) St. Paul’s Suite for strings Op. 29 No. 2 (1913)
English Chamber Orchestra/Imogen Holst Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) [16:08]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult
rec. Jan 1979, Kingsway Hall (Balfe); Jan 1974, Walthamstow
Assembly Hall (Elgar); Jan 1970, Walthamstow Assembly Hall
(Delius); Aug 1978, Kingsway Hall (Grainger; Berners); April
1976, Kingsway Hall (Harty); Sept 1978, Watford Town Hall
(Warlock); Jan 1968, Walthamstow Assembly Hall (RVW) LYRITA
is one of a pair of Lyrita miscellanies issued in November
2007. Lyrita always had a place in its heart for eccentric
collections of ‘oddfellows’ and ‘evenfellows’. It started
in the 1970s and continues to the present day.
collection starts with the Offenbach-gleeful Galop from The
Bohemian Girl by Balfe. Here is a composer enjoying some
well deserved attention now with books, recordings and revivals.
The real obstacle to revival is the cost of producing his
operas even semi-professionally. Andrew Davis then gives
us a smoothly romantic and undemonstrative reading of Dorabella from
Elgar's Enigma followed by a stately quick-tempo P&C
No. 5. We then track back to a recording which appeared on
one of the original Lyrita Lollipop collections in
It is a rather special and gorgeously relished
reading by Myer Fredman of Delius’s Walk to the Paradise
Garden. He is a fine conductor who has had less celebrity
than his perceptive readings have merited. He leads us through
the walk and finds time to touch in, without undue emphasis,
the often tragically coloured bass-line. The whole thing
has a pervasive air of satiated lassitude. To blow away the
cobwebs in strides Grainger's chuckle-headed Shepherd's
Hey. After this example of bluffly romping brilliance
Grainger shows his sensitive side with The Immovable Do which
here, I am afraid, proves suet-stodgy.
Vernon Handley polishes
Harty's The Fair Day until it fair gleams with emerald
iridescence in the Irish sun. Nicholas Braithwaite turns
in a grand and often Purcell-sombre Capriol in the rare version
for full orchestra. The Tordion and Bransles trip
along lightly before a rather treacly Pieds en l'air.
I am not at all sure that this piece does not work better
with strings alone. On the other hand the ‘gamey’ harmonies
of the woodwind in Mattachins are something to relish
here. One last spin before the serious stuff. Berners' Hornpipe from The
Triumph of Neptune is very distinctive if not endearing.
Imogen Holst directs the ECO in the St Paul's Suite in
a taut and spry reading. Has the Ostinato ever sounded
as dainty and finely pointed? The oriental element which
I noticed in a recent issue of the same piece does not project
as vividly as in other versions here in the notably strange Intermezzo.
The strings section theme carries over from Holst to Holst's
close friend Vaughan Williams in his Tallis Fantasia.
When first issued this was on an LP also including Boult
conducting the LPO in Rubbra Symphony No. 7. It was an aptly
sober coupling for a sober symphony. Boult's very English
buttoned-up way with Tallis has dignity and terrific
grandeur but lacks the many coloured splendour and passion
of the Barbirolli or Silvestri versions. On the other hand
the string phrases have a very satisfying bite and mordancy
which softer-focused approaches lack.
from nineteenth century ebullience to a sombre spiritual
exaltation. This is a collection which no doubt mops up the
oddments after other more substantial composer-themed collections.
It’s good that so many tapes from the Lyrita treasury are
being issued in this way. Otherwise they might remain beached
for ever. This disc has intrinsic satisfactions and these
are well buttressed by Fred Tomlinson, Imogen Holst and Lewis
Foreman in their encyclopaedic liner notes. Good to see also
that Lyrita are striving hard to include discographical information.
of these pieces here (Balfe and Grainger) appeared on that
rare Lyrita-Quad CD issued circa 1994 before the long silence
and a few others will be familiar from composer-themed collections
issued as part of the label’s renaissance via Wyastone Estates.
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