MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

  2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

To gain a 10% discount, use the link below & the code MusicWeb10

Daniel JONES (1912-1993)
Symphony No. 1 (1947) [50:17]
Symphony No. 10 (1981) [19:27]
BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra/Bryden Thomson
rec. BBC studio, 12 January 1990 (1); 16 March 1990 (10)
LYRITA SRCD358 [69:44]

With this release the Lyrita label continues to champion the symphonies of Welsh composer Daniel Jones. Symphonies Six and Nine plus the cantata The Country Beyond the Stars were released on CD in 2004 (review) and Symphonies Four, Seven and Eight in 2007 (review). Here Lyrita Recorded Edition has licensed a pair of BBC broadcast studio recordings from 1990 of the First and Tenth Symphonies with Bryden Thomson conducting the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra.

Over the years I made great endeavours to attend concerts of twentieth century British symphonies, performances largely given by BBC orchestras. I fondly recall hearing symphonies by Arnold Bax, George Lloyd (conducted by the composer), Alun Hoddinott, Alan Rawsthorne, Richard Arnell, Malcolm Arnold (conducted by the composer), Wilfred Josephs and several others but sadly I was never able to be present at performances of any of the thirteen symphonies by Daniel Jones. So the Lyrita releases have been and remain indispensable in my search for understanding of the composer.

Jones, with his own characteristic approach, writes accessible, largely tonal music although he did employ serial techniques. Predominant in Jones' compositional method is his use of “complex metres” forming irregular rhythmic patterns that often create a disturbing and anxious atmosphere. Each of his first twelve symphonies is based on one of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale. It has been put forward that his music falls between two stools being too progressive for conventionalists yet too traditional for the avant-garde.

Jones' robust Symphony No. 1, scored for a large orchestra, was written over the period 1944/47 and is his lengthiest symphony. Powerful and determined, the squally opening movement Allegro moderato strongly reminds me of a stormy seascape near rocky cliffs. The prevailing dark tension is brightened by several episodes of welcome calm. The slow movement, centred on two main themes, opens in a deeply mournful mood like a funeral procession. A brass heavy fanfare at 5.41-6.10 comes as a welcome relief. After this the tense music contains more of an understated emotion. The Scherzo could easily be a scene from Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a ravishing elfin world. Intonation from the horns is slightly suspect in a central brass heavy section. In the Finale: Allegro the deliberate tread of the introduction up to point 2.45 provides a strong sense of anticipation. A sense of nobility imbues the writing, shot through predominantly with darkness and anxiety.

The concise Symphony No. 10, composed in 1981, has been singled out from the other symphonies for special praise by music writer Mark Morris. A redoubtable work of restrained rage and anxiety, each of its four movements contains a shaft of sunlight. In the Solennne movement a short but menacing bray on the horns is conspicuous at the opening, followed by a single bell strike and these establish a dark, pessimistic yet dramatic mood. A slight Latin feel to the threatening, heavily percussive rhythms of the short Minacciando movement reminded me of Chávez and Halffter. The slow movement, marked Serioso and in the form of a passacaglia, is essentially gloomy and tense, conveying an airless rather claustrophobic feel. The writing of the Finale: Agitato takes on a squally and gravely anxious quality. In the coda bell strikes, with material from the opening movement present, herald a more intense darkness.

The BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Bryden Thomson is certainly committed, offering reasonably well characterised performances. The playing could be tidier; ideally with more polish. These BBC studio recordings from 1990 are acceptably clear and balanced although I wanted more depth in the First Symphony. Paul Conway, an authority on Jones, is the author of the enlightening booklet essay. Also included is a list of contemporaneous British symphonies from the years 1947 and 1981. It is announced in the notes that Lyrita is preparing for release in 2017/18 recordings of Jones' symphonies 2, 3, 5, 11, and 12, once again with Bryden Thomson conducting the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra. In addition Lyrita is in talks with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to make available Jones' final offering in the genre his SymphonyIn memoriam John Fussell’ (in effect No. 13) which has been broadcast in performances by conductors Richard Hickox in 1992 and Tecwyn Evans in 2016.

These two fine symphonies from Lyrita demonstrate that the music of Daniel Jones merits wider circulation.

Michael Cookson

Previous review: John Quinn (Recording of the Month)

 

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus