Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

CD REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH



Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 


Buy through MusicWeb for £11.00 postage paid World Wide. Try it on Sale or Return
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Purchase button

Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950)
Sinfonietta (1944) [23:16]
Symphony in G minor* (1937) [44:24]
Overture for a Masque (1944) [10:36]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult
New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult*
rec. 1968, 1970, 1975. ADD
LYRITA SRCD.247 [78:55]



This will do well and fully deserves to. Although the circumstances that kept most Lyrita originals out of the CD catalogue since 1983 remain a matter of historical frustration the fact is that the long delay has simply intensified the market. The log-jam is now cleared and appetite-whetted sales in a market dry for these long hidden recordings deserve to be phenomenal.

The bass amplitude is phenomenal in the Sinfonietta. Listen to 7:31 in the middle movement. Despite the age of the tape there is no trace of pre-echo or print-through on the startlingly imperious rushed opening of the last movement; neither is there an unearthly silence. That hushed pizzicato 1:10-1:34 in the finale is the most sumptuous ever. Ending with the burbling string crescendo. All very immediate, lapel-grabbing and gorgeously larger than life.

Then we move to the Symphony which is recorded in much broader and deeper ambient conditions. It is resplendently lively, resonant with detail and full-lipped in romantic address. Lissom woodwind voices reach out to seduce the listener. There is also a chesty grunt to the many active ostinati including those set aggressively running in the first movement. The woody tone of the double basses at 8:23 in the first movement positively groans with character. Those squat and fruity French Horns providing a prominent contralto boost to the shattering chords that explosively punctuate the exuberant close of the first movement. You will look in vain for quite the same splendour in the other versions – and that applies also to the Heward reborn in Pristine’s historic reanimation on Divine Art. Much the same applies to the marine swell and cross-currents of the second movement at 6:32 onwards with its rapturous harp and woodwind slashes (7:42 onwards) running through the swathed texture of the strings. Boult takes the scherzo (III) at daredevil speed but is matched by the NPO’s oboist. Then at 3:05 there is one of the most magical passages in all classical music where the harp and French horn and flute and pizzicato strings serenade – it is not quite as effective as Neville Dilkes’ unfairly derided EMI Classics recording given that the pace of Boult’s scherzo, while full of exhilaration, is too fast for my complete liking. The French horns at 4:20-4:35 in the finale are every bit as good as LP stalwarts will have recalled or imagined in their best dreams – not a scintilla of distortion just the glorious burred and rolling roar of the breakers. The irresistible trudge of the strings as we move into the section so clearly influenced by Sibelius’s Tapiola at 7:20 forward is also notable.

Never mind Boult’s Elgar this recording shows Boult at his most stirringly impressive. This is his finest recording in much the same way as Groves EMI recording of Bliss’s Morning Heroes is Groves’ finest – his testament. Both Lloyd-Jones and Handley come close but cannot displace this version of the Symphony; it bears the crown with eager majesty. Of course the Pristine-Divine Art version has great historic significance catching the conductor of the premiere only a handful of years after the first performance. And in the case of this version making the thorny 78s sound better than ever.

One oddity now removed in the case of this Lyrita disc: on the LP the orchestra was named as the New Philharmonia Orchestra of London. The words of London have now been removed.

The Overture for a Masque is as explosive and recorded as grippingly as the Sinfonietta – a work with which it shares a youthful optimistic spirit. Its jocund, effervescent and romantic high spirits place it with Randall Thompson’s Second Symphony and Copland’s Outdoor Overture.

The March 2007 issues from this label include SRCD.248 Moeran Rhapsody no.2; Violin Concerto; Rhapsody in F sharp for piano and orchestra (LPO/Boult, Georgiadis/LSO/Handley and McCabe/New Philharmonia/Braithwaite).

The notes are taken from the original LP sleeves: Michael Williamson, Geoffrey Crankshaw and Frank Howes.

The CD cover holds firm to the Lyrita virtues of victory in simplicity and forthright sincerity. There is however nothing Spartan about these majestic recordings. Shout it from the rooftops!
Rob Barnett

The Lyrita Catalogue

NOTE: Hear the Moeran Symphony live with the Ealing Symphony Orchestra/John Gibbons on Saturday 12 May 2007 at 7.30pm in St Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, Ealing. London W5. John Gardner Half-Holiday Overture Moeran Symphony in G minor Rachmaninov Piano Concerto 3. Tickets from Richard Partridge, Hon. Secretary 020 8567 4075 secretary@ealingso.org.uk
Comparative reviews
Symphony

Lloyd-Jones http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2002/Oct02/Moeran_symphony.htm
Handley http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Sept04/moeran_symphony.htm
Dilkes http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Sept04/moeran_emi.htm
Heward http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2006/Nov06/Moeran_Collected78s_27808.htm

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.