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Stanford: Complete Symphonies Vol 1 / Lloyd-Jones


Release Date: 05/29/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570285   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Charles Villiers Stanford
Conductor:  David Lloyd-Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Music such as this--well crafted, tuneful, and beautifully scored--probably deserves more attention than it gets. The problem with these symphonies is their near total lack of passion, an accusation often leveled at Victorian English music, and with some justification. But this isn't entirely fair; the "gutless wimp" school of Romantic music originated in Germany with Mendelssohn, and infected scads of later German composers, including Reinecke, Bruch, Rheinberger, and countless others. The problem for England was that for several decades until Elgar came along this style had no serious competition from anyone other than Arthur Sullivan working with W.S. Gilbert. Germany at least had Wagner, Liszt, and in terms of emotional depth, Read more Brahms.

And so we come to these charming works, composed between 1888 and 1911 but sounding as if they could have been written in 1858. Neither taxes the listener, and neither outstays its welcome (though at 42 minutes the Fourth Symphony comes closer than the pithy and crisp Seventh).

This disc is the first in a projected Stanford series, and the performances are certainly every bit as fine as Handley's on Chandos; indeed, the Bournemouth Symphony is marginally the finer orchestra (Handley has Ulster), and the sonics are as fresh and pure as Stanford's scoring is lucid. I know the first paragraph of this review may sound harsh, but there's no point in gilding the lily. As long as you don't expect anything dramatic or strikingly original, there's plenty to enjoy here.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 4 in F major, Op. 31 by Charles Villiers Stanford
Conductor:  David Lloyd-Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; England 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 42 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/02/2006 - 06/03/2006) 
2. Symphony no 7 in D minor, Op. 124 by Charles Villiers Stanford
Conductor:  David Lloyd-Jones
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; England 
Venue:  The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK 
Length: 28 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK (06/02/2006 - 06/03/2006) 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 4 in F major, Op. 31: I. Allegro vivace e giojoso
Symphony No. 4 in F major, Op. 31: II. Intermezzo: Allegro agitato, ma moderato in tempo
Symphony No. 4 in F major, Op. 31: III. Andante molto moderato
Symphony No. 4 in F major, Op. 31: IV. Finale: Allegro non troppo
Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 124: I. Allegro
Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 124: II. Tempo di minuetto (Allegro molto moderato)
Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 124: III. Variations: Andante
Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 124: IV. Finale: Allegro giusto

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