ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): The Lady of Shalott - ballet in one act (First Recording of complete ballet), Rout for Soprano and Orchestra (Ilona Domnich [soprano]), Polonaise, One-Step, Answering You, Heritage of Britain (versions A & B), 2 Contrasts for String Orchestra, March of Homage in Honor of a Great Man.
Catalogue Number: 12X003
Description: Bliss’s late ballet (1958), has been unjustly forgotten and with its Arthurian setting proves to be quite a find. In the varied and tuneful supporting program, perhaps the biggest surprise is the catchy “One-Step” (1923 orch. 1936), which reveals Bliss as being up-to-the-minute with the popular music of his day. Piano music heard anew yields the “Polonaise” (1925), another engaging miniature suitable for either the concert or the ballet stage. Bliss described the “Rout” for soprano and orchestra (1920) as evoking “the sound of a carnival overheard at a distance,” Contrasts (1950 arr. 1972) comprises dynamic orchestral versions of movements from Bliss’s Second String Quartet, while a pair of BBC radio signature tunes takes us back to 1944 and 1950. Lastly, Bliss’s tribute to Winston Churchill on his death in 1965, “March of Homage in Honour of a Great Man,” constitutes the composer’s Churchill Funeral March, and it is good to hear it performed so rousingly in its orchestral dress. BBC Concert Orchestra; Martin Yates.