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with such natural sympathy and Alan Rawsthorne. Here we have hear his symphony as Barbirolli second study. It sounds as if the understanding. it in its original version for piano, and the Hallé performed it at the instrument was in the back of his Commissioned for the Festival strings and percussion, which 1958 Proms. This is an import- mind all through his brassy of Britain in 1951, Howard focuses the attention even more ant historical document, which playing years of 1949-61, but it Ferguson’s Concerto for Piano than does the revised, full-orch- adds tremendously to the value of didn’t crystallize until much later Strings emerges sadly as a tribute estral version upon its Prokofiev- this double-album. I remember when a sonata and this concerto to that gentle academic’s retentive like clarity of thought. Its perf- reading somewhere that Barbirolli of 1988-92 followed each other. ear for the plethora of music he ormance here is both zippy and offered the composer the baton The concerto is another sub- knew. It begins and ends with thoughtful, and it’s worth buying for the symphony’s premiere in stantial structure (nearly 40’) music which surely evokes the the disc for this alone – and for 1957, which Butterworth sensibly though for its form Butterworth recently-completed Clarinet the delicious, almost obscene quote declined. As you listen to this evidently felt the need to look no Concerto by his great friend from Constant Lambert cited in inspired performance, with the further than the traditional three Gerald Finzi, though the main Bruce Phillips’ lively insert-notes. mercurial ‘JB’ bringing all his separate movements on fast-slow- motif of the opening movement Christopher Morley personal qualities to bear on its fast lines. The slow central is genuinely memorable. But big-boned, outspoken utterances, movement is a dark affair, which there are aromas of much else, Arthur Butterworth: you realise just how right he was. impresses as an extended improv- too, and I do wish the formalist Symphony No.1 Op.15(a); It is a performance in a thousand, isation: much of it is given over Ferguson hadn’t felt obliged to Symphony No.4 Op.72 (b); and one that the composer could to a solo cadenza, with occasional include a gratuitous cadenza to Viola Concerto Op.82 (b)(c). not really have hoped to emulate. orchestral interjections, that round off the first movement. Talk by Arthur Butterworth. (a) In a clear and lucid booklet note follows a lengthy period of Such showy devices had reached Hallé Orchestra, conductor Sir he describes the symphony’s (relative) orchestral inactivity. their sell-by date at the end of the John Barbirolli. (b) Royal Scottish genesis in the Scottish highlands Sarah-Jane Bradley’s approach 19th century (the Elgar National Orchestra conducted and owns again, as he always has and her rich tone are ideally mentioned later is a tremendous by the composer; (c) Sarah-Jane done, to the influences of Sibelius suited to this kind of music and exception). Bradley, viola. (a) Recorded Royal and Nielsen on his music. That she is equal to everything, The Eclogue by Finzi himself Albert Hall, London 29 August may all be true, but it is a good, including the tense and vivid is far more genuine in its effect, a 1958; (b) (c) Henry Wood Hall, individual symphony which had pages that build to conclude the grave rumination which hints at Glasgow 30-31 May 2008. the promenade audience cheering concerto. There is also a 27’ talk deeper feelings beneath a gener- ★★★★ / ★★★★★ lustily as, one gathers, the Chelt- by the composer, recorded in ally serene surface. Its perform- Dutton CDLX7212 enham audience did too. “I wish 2008. ance from Bebbington and the [2 hours 35 minutes] : I could write another like it,” he Lyndon Jenkins CBSO strings gives its qualities 2 discs for the price of one. said to me once in his forthright, full value. Then comes a curios- unassuming way. This was 25 John Ireland 70th birthday ity: the Concertino in G minor rthur Butterworth (b.1923) years ago when he was working concert, 10 September 1949 by Frederic Austin, whom we chiefly remember as the musical A produced his fourth symph- ony 20 years ago. No.1 became on his fourth symphony, which he conducts here. In it he says he A London Overture; Piano Concerto in E flat; The Forgotten arranger of Nigel Playfair’s famous famous when Sir John Barbirolli, aimed ‘to revert to the more Rite; These things shall be. production of John Gay’s The in whose Hallé Orchestra Butter- exuberant and dramatic manner Ei
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