HENRY HADLEY (1871-1937): Scherzo Diabolique, Op. 135, Cleopatra’s Night, Op. 90, Othello, Op. 96, San Francisco, Op. 121, The Enchanted Castle, Op. 117 (all World Premiere Recordings), Salome, Op. 55.
Catalogue Number: 09R003
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7319
Description: With only the hyper-romantic, Richard Straussian (Florent Schmittian?) half-hour extravaganza Salome previously recorded, the rest of this 78-minute disc is a bonanza for collectors. The brief Cleopatra’s Night (an atmospheric prelude from an opera) and the 14-minute tone-poem Othello, a sterner, more “virile” Romanticism, ominous and tragic, more harmonically adventurous, are from 1918 and 1919. The remaining three are late works from 1931 to 1934, the longest San Francisco, more conservatively tone-painted in its expected The Harbour and Chinese Quarter but who associates the City-by-the-Bay any longer with Mardi Gras? The Scherzo is a sonic representation of a fast ride in a car trying to catch a train (and if you think it should be faster, remember that cars had lower top speeds in 1934!) which stands on the edge of the boundary of “sonic mechanistic composition”. Colorful fun for all! BBC Concert Orchestra; Rebecca Miller.