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Cat. No. CHAN 6611 Price: £0 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 6611 - Various Orchestras - Byways Of British Music
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Available From: 20 July 2000
‘Façade’ launched Walton’s career in notorious fashion in 1922 with Edith Sitwell declaiming her experimental poems though a megaphone to the accompaniment of an ensemble conducted by the composer, who like her were hidden behind a painted screen.

Bernard Stevens’s legacy includes two symphonies, concertos for violin and cello, the Dance Suite for orchestra as well as chamber music and songs. Stevens’s name was established with ‘A Symphony of Liberation,’ composed during the Blitz and finished in 1945, when it won the first prize in the ‘Daily Express’s’ ‘Victory Music’ competition.

Benjamin Frankel was a jazz violinist as well as an orchestrator and musical director of West End shows which included Coward’s ‘Operette’. His Fifth Symphony is essentially lyrical with an underlying pastoral feeling, while ‘Carriage and Pair’ shows him as a master of light music.

Humphrey Searle is one of the first British composers to adopt Schoenberg’s serial techniques.

Alwyn’s ‘Lyra Angelica’ was inspired by the intense love of seventeenth century English metaphysical poets; each elegaic movement is assigned a quotation from Giles Fletcher’s poem ‘Christ’s Victorie and Triumph’. Alwyn also wrote over 200 film scores ranging from feature films to documentaries.

Arthur Bliss’s ‘Pastoral’ was composed in 1928, its inspiration arising from holiday that the composer and his wife had spent in Sicily. In ‘The Pigeon Song’ the soloist describes a girl sharing her thoughts of love with her tame pigeon, which she then sends as a messenger to her lover.

‘The Lark Ascending’ is one of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s most exquisite miniatures, inspired by a poem of George Meredith. It was largely completed in 1914, but set aside at the outbreak of war, and completed in 1920.

Kenneth Leighton’s Third Symphony ‘Laudes Musicae’, for tenor and orchestra was completed in 1984 and sets a group of texts in praise of the art of music.

‘Addictive stuff! Brilliant!’
Classic CD

‘It has a wonderful plaintive, passionate quality, and, like much of Alwyn’s music is full of good tunes.’
Classic CD on Alwyn’s ‘Lyra Angelica’

‘This is a work of magnificent power, which uses harmonies as though on a knife- edge expecting disaster… Hickox… gets to the heart of the work…’
Classic CD on Searle’s ‘Second Symphony’


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