| Rawsthorne's sparse representation in the current record catalogue -
the early Clarinet Concerto, the Cello Sonata, and Street
Corner - must be the nadir of availability of his music on commercial
recordings. The 1990 recordings by Swinsty records, which the Society assisted,
have made available a further eighteen pieces and we look forward to their
listing in the trade catalogues.
The composer's representation over the years has been better than the current poor showing might suggest. About half of Rawsthorne's creative output - after excluding a handful of very early works, the incidental and film music - is suitable for 'concert' performance, and amounts to about eighty works. Starting with the landmark recording of the Theme and Variations for Two Violins in 1938, the major companies have committed thirty six works to disc, some more than once, and the Swinsty tapes bring this total to forty four.
Sixty four recordings containing, in whole or part, works by Rawsthorne were issued or reissued in the following years:
1 Updated July 1997 2 Up to July 1997
Some important works have yet to receive a first commercial recording, notably the 'Cello Concerto; Elegiac Rhapsody; Improvisations on a Theme by Constant; Concerto for Ten Instruments; Carmen Vitale and the Mediaeval Diptych. The hope remains that one or more of the enterprising companies, who have done so much to place in their catalogues under performed or forgotten pieces by British composers of this century, will tum their attention to Rawsthorne. The names of Chandos, Hyperion, Lyrita, Conifer and Nimbus come immediately to mind.
One major role for the Friends of Alan Rawsthorne must be to bring influence to bear to re-establish Rawsthorne's name to the commercial catalogue.
(I am indebted, among other sources, to Alan Poulton's Discography, published in the Catalogue of Rawsthorne's music which he compiled and edited).
Taken from THE CREEL, journal of the Friends of Alan Rawsthorne and The Rawsthorne Trust, Vol. I No. 5 Autumn 199 l