ARTHUR BUTTERWORTH (b.1923): Symphony No. 1, Op. 15 (Hallé Orchestra; Sir John Barbirolli. Aug. 29, 1958. Mono), Symphony No. 4, Op. 72, Viola Concerto, Op. 82.
Catalogue Number: 04K009
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7212
Description: Those of you who remember Butterworth's First when offered it on the Classico label back in 1999 will recall the comparisons with Sibelius. The composer himself in the notes to this release says "...all my major symphonic writings owe much the the example of Sibelius: elements of structure especially..." but goes on to claim Nielsen as a veiled figure in the background of the opening of the Fourth (1986). The average collector, though, may be forgiven for thinking, around five minutes into this marvellous 44-minute symphony, that the line goes from Sibelius and Nielsen straight through Bax as well. The indefinable Nordic quality of Bax's early symphonies, the legendary aura, the elemental forces of northern climate and ruggedness of the topography are all here and this work sweeps the listener along inexorably, especially the finale which, like that of the First, is an expermiment in moto perpetuo onward, rushing, exciting motion. Oh, the viola concerto of 1992 isn't bad either... Filling out this mid-price release is a historical broadcast of the First in which Barbirolli knocks six minutes of Bostock's 40 minutes on Classico, and a 27-minute segement of Butterworth speaking to the British Music Society last April about his life and memories. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Arthur Butterworth.