YORK BOWEN (1884-1961): Symphony No. 1 in G, Op. 4, Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 31.
Catalogue Number: 06M003
Description: World premiere recording of the Symphony No. 1, a work so unruffled and genial in its sunny progress through three finely orchestrated movements, that you'll have a hard time believing it's by an 18-year-old. No heaving breast and fists to heaven, just a beautiful, remarkably warm and mature sounding piece by a startlingly talented composer. Recorded by a conservatory orchestra on Classico in 2002 (07E050), the Second is notable for its heavy Tchaikovsky Pathétique influence (a work which had wide circulation and a great effect on many composers of the time). In the outer movements this Russian flavor jostles for position with a Ravelian-inspired sound while the light, dancing scherzo flirts with Impressionism; Bowen's own voice can best be heard in the lyrical slow movement in which an expressive horn solo (the composer's own instrument) stands out amongst other original touches (such as a solo string quartet and double bass and high string harmonics). BBC Philharmonic; Sir Andrew Davis.