British Tone Poems, Vol. 1

HENRY BALFOUR GARDINER (1877-1950): A Berkshire Idyll (First Recording), IVOR GURNEY (1890-1937): A Gloucestershire Rhapsody, FREDERIC AUSTIN (1872-1952): Spring, WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): Blackdown, GRANVILLE BANTOCK (1868-1946): The Witch of Atlas, RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): The Solent.

Catalogue Number: 04S002

Label: Chandos

Reference: CHAN 10939

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: The words “Volume One” on this booklet cover will make all Romantic Anglophile hearts beat faster. Even though there’s only one premiere recording here - Gardiner’s 11-minute work from 1913 which seems to acknowledge Debussy and Delius equally - neither the Austin (sunny, glowing and pastoral from 1902-07), the Alwyn (a five-minute pastoral portrait from 1926 interrupted by a gale-force wind) nor the Gurney have other versions currently available. And the latter stands out for its often elegiac and weighty mood likely due to his wartime experiences: except for the Alwyn, this is the only post-war work on the disc. And who’d have expected that The Solent, having received exactly one private run-through in 1903, would now have three recordings in the last three-and-a-third years? BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Rumon Gamba.

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