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Clifford: Symphony 1940; Bainton, Gough / Handley, Et Al


Release Date: 10/19/1999 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 757   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Hubert CliffordJohn GoughEdgar Bainton
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Chandos' relentless search for the uncommon continues to yield musical gems, this time from the land down under. For many listeners this release will be a first experience with music by Australian composers, whose work isn't well known in the West. The works by Hubert Clifford, Edgar Bainton, and John Gough are clearly of British derivation (which should come as no surprise) but occasionally there are touches of local color. Edgar Bainton's (1880-1956) use of an Australian birdsong in his Symphony No. 2 (1941) is one example. He follows Sibelius' example by fusing several movements into one. The work begins with a dreamy introduction reminiscent of Debussy, followed by a Korngold-style march. The
Read more orchestral writing in many passages is highly evocative of Bax; terrific climaxes are dramatically punctuated by the bass drum. The march theme, which takes on various guises as the symphony progresses, returns to close the work in a calm resolution.

Hubert Clifford (1904-1959) left Australia for England to study with Vaughan Williams, and there he remained to make his career. His Symphony 1940 is primarily a tonal work, though it relies on motivic ideas rather than "tunes". Syncopated timpani strokes and Waltonian brass chords start the first movement, which leaps into action with a swagger not unlike Richard Strauss' Don Juan. Hints of Sibelius flavor the development section, its long suspension building to a mighty climax; the scherzo's trio dances to what sounds like a Latin beat. Wagnerian string shimmerings color the seagoing adagio, and a big, outdoor-type finale, based on a jazzy rhythm makes for an exciting ending. John Gough's (1903-1951) lovely (but brief) Serenade is a relaxing piece that belongs on everybody's stress-buster list. Vernon Handley's masterful conducting brings these scores fully to life, as does the committed playing of the BBC Philharmonic. Chandos provides fabulous sound.
--Victor Carr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony 1940 by Hubert Clifford
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; London, England 
2.
Serenade by John Gough
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Australia 
3.
Symphony no 2 in D minor by Edgar Bainton
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; Sydney, Australia 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Andante, molto tranquillo -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Allegro vivace -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Piu allegro -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Maestoso piu lento -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Molto vivace, scherzando -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Poco piu mosso -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Allegro vivace -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Adagio -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Molto maestoso -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Piu lento -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Lento -
Symphony No. 2 in D minor: Molto maestoso
Serenade for Small Orchestra: Serenade for small orchestra
Symphony 1940: I. Moderato con anima
Symphony 1940: II. Scherzo
Symphony 1940: III. Adagio
Symphony 1940: IV. Allegro molto

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