Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Frank Bridge, Orchestral Works. The Collector's Edition. The Hickox Legacy. CD 3.

From my collection.
Bought in 2013.
First listen: 28-8-2013. 
Second listen: 15-3-2017.
Label: Chandos Classic.
Recording dates: September 2001 and May 2003.
Recording venue: Brangwyn Hall, Swansea.
Recording engineer: Ralph Couzens.
Running time: 69:51.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:


Coronation March.

Summer, Tone poem.
Phantasm,  for piano and orchestra.
There is a willow Grows aslant a brook, for small orchestra.
Vignettes de danse, for small orchestra.
Sir Roger de Coverley, ( A Christmas dance) for large orchestra.

Performed by:
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Richard Hickox.
Howard Shelley, Piano.

I have been since long an admirer of Bridge his music, so quintessential English, that this could not come from anywhere else. He is in many ways a traditionalist, but not adverse to some modern streaks of light, which can penetrate quite forcefully. As in Phantasm, a fine work, but not a work you warm instantly to, although you admire the man's technical ability to score very precise, to great effect. For this music will touch you emotionally. Summer on the other hand is a typical dreamlike work, that makes you sink into a gratifying relaxation, feeling very safe in this balloon, until the next piece that is. But predominantly this disc is great fun, and easy to approach, with the cherry on the cake in the form of a the masterly orchestrated Sir Roger Coverley.  You will hear how great a composer he actually is, and so underrated by the musical establishment.  This said I will admit to the fact that I heartily disliked the Phantasm, a work for piano and orchestra. Too austere for me and devoid of real emotional content. It is a brilliant technical work, but nothing more. Not by me though, or by Hickox, who makes a feast of listening to this disc. Sadly enough he is not among us anymore, and I consider this a great loss. But at least we have his musical legacy right? Great sound, great performances.





Salvatore, Giovanni. (c.1610-1688) Works for Harpsichord and Organ, plus a Missa.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: November 2017. First listen: 22-11-2017. Label: Glossa. Recording dates: October 1998 & June 1999...