JOSEF HOLBROOKE (1878-1958): Symphony No. 3, Op. 90 “Ships”, The Birds of Rhiannon, Op. 87, Symphonic Variations “The Girl I Left Behind Me”, Op. 37/2.
Catalogue Number: 06U001
Reference: 555 041-2
Description: Without access to audio files or even to the booklet notes, we can only cite previous references to Holbrooke’s brilliant ability as an orchestrator, compared by contemporaries to Richard Strauss and suggested to have anticipate Ravel and to tell you the bare bones of what we do know: “Warships”, “Hospital Ships” and “Merchant Ships” are the headings of this three-movement, 42-minute symphony from 1925. A bit late to be singing the praises of Britain’s sea empire but, then, Holbrooke was a conservative, Romantic composer for the most part. Not premiere recordings but still rare are the 15-minute tone poem thematically associated with one of Holbrooke’s three operas derived from Welsh legend while the 13-minute set of variations is a glittering orchestral delight of the sort you'd expect to hear at the Last Night of the Proms. Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern; Howard Griffiths.