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Joubert: Symphony No 1 / Handley, London Po

Release Date: 11/13/2007 
Label:  Lyrita   Catalog #: 322   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  John Joubert
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

An absorbing and approachable British symphony at last receives its due

Released as a specially priced CD single to mark the composer’s 80th birthday, this superb account of John Joubert’s First Symphony could hardly be more welcome. Commissioned in 1955 by the Hull Philharmonic Society and premiered in April of the following year under Vilem Tausky, it’s a strikingly assured, economically plotted utterance (in the booklet Joubert states that “it represents my coming-of-age as a composer”), launched by an excitingly purposeful Allegro energico and generating considerable emotional clout in the Lento ma non troppo slow movement (which leads without a break into the flashing Scherzo) and stately introduction to the finale
Read more (powerful echoes here, as elsewhere, of Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem). The clouds ultimately lift and a swaggering Allegro vivace rounds off a work which grows in my estimation every time I return to it – let’s hope its successor from 1970 will not be long in following. With high-class playing from the LPO under Vernon Handley’s authoritative baton and irreproachable production values, here’s yet another Lyrita gem to snap up without further ado.

Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 1 Op 20 by John Joubert
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; England 

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