CHARLES O’BRIEN (1882-1968): Complete Orchestral Music, Vol. 2 - Concert Overtures To Spring, Op. 4 and The Minstrel’s Curse, Op. 7, Scottish Scenes, Op. 17, Mazurka, Berceuse.
Catalogue Number: 03R002
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0263
Description: To Spring (1906) may be what it’s titled - a “Concert Overture”, although it’s on the long side at 13:43 - but the 25-minute Minstrel’s Curse of 1905 is definitely not. It’s a full-fledged tone poem with roots in Liszt and Tchaikovsky, inspired by an Uhland ballad and vividly illustrating it all the way through. Its dark and baleful world is miles away from To Spring, whose many Schumannesque features are listed in the ample notes (not that all of them need to told you). Scottish Scenes is a 1915 three-piece piano suite (available on Vol. 1 of O’Brien’s piano music on this label) but its 1929 orchestration turns it into a hugely enjoyable and colorful evocation of Scottish life and landscape, dramatically transformed for orchestra, richer and more imposing. Liepāja Symphony Orchestra; Paul Mann.