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Cat. No. CHAN 10525 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10525 - Gunning: Symphonies Nos 3 and 4/ Oboe Concerto
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Available From: 01 May 2009
Born in 1944 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Gunning attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where his tutors included Brian Trowell, James Gibb, Edmund Rubbra and Richard Rodney Bennett. His compositions for the concert hall include four symphonies and a number of concertos.

Here the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs the premiere recording of Symphonies No. 3 and No. 4, coupled with Concerto for Oboe and String Orchestra. Symphony No. 3 was composed in the aftermath of a turbulent 2005. The work is an expression of this anxiety and the result is a chaotic, colourful musical landscape inspired by the Welsh countryside to which he escaped. While Symphony No. 3 is predominantly turbulent, Symphony No. 4 offers a different view of Gunning’s world. Here the listener is treated to a sense of triumph over adversity, and as such the work is more direct and tonal.

Concerto for Oboe and String Orchestra was composed as a Christmas present for his daughter Verity, who here performs her Concerto. Middle Eastern influences are evident in the central movement for it was composed on the day which Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died and reflects Gunning’s sense of sorrow for the region.

The works are conducted by the composer, and thus can be considered definitive performances.

“With Gunning leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and daughter Verity playing oboe in the Concerto, these performances have to be as close to definitive as any ever come. Add to that Chandos’s wide-stage, resonant, and impactful sound, and you have a most compelling recording… I can easily recommend this disc. You will find Gunning both ‘approachable and enjoyable.”

Jerry Dubins                     

Fanfare - November/December 2009

“This is exactly the kind of release that has always made Chandos a great label. Their advocacy of British music is legendary, and the two symphonies and the oboe concerto by Christopher Gunning puts another trophy on their mantle. The Oboe Concerto was written for and is performed by Gunning’s daughter, Verity Gunning. Ms Gunning is up to the task, highly confident for one so young. Chandos has done it again.”

American Record Guide September/October 2009

“Gunning’s conducting secures excellent playing from the RPO, while his daughter Verity is a poised and persuasive soloist in the Oboe Concerto written for her….. realised here with much deftness and, in its slow movement genuine depth.”

Malcolm Hayes

Classic FM Magazine - July 2009

"A highly recommended issue."
Robert Matthew-Walker

International Record Review - June 2009

"The piquant Concerto for Oboe and Strings, for me, takes the palm. Light on its feet, with some lovely moments for individual players… This is a charming composition, winningly played."
Adrian Edwards

Gramophone - July 2009


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