Lloyd: John Socman (Highlights) / Lloyd, Philharmonia Orch

Release Date: 8/10/1995
Label: Albany
Catalog Number: 131
Composer: George Lloyd
Conductor: George Lloyd
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra, London Voices
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
The original early-Fifties Carl Rosa production of John Socman was so ineptly handled that Lloyd was put off opera entirely for 18 years. Thanks to Albany, he can now show us how he intended it to be. Alas, funds only permitted the recording of highlights and some important scenes are missing (sponsorship might permit completion). However, the 79 minutes of music here demonstrate Lloyd’s impressive operatic skills (much advanced since the early Iernin, despite a few less-inspired moments), particularly his strength in conveying meaning and character through the vocal line as well as through the orchestra. The opera is set in medieval Wiltshire after Agincourt. Ageing Socman is bent on seducing the young Sybil away from her archer lover Richard and threatens to have her father burnt for heresy if she will not marry him. David Wilson-Johnson is excellent in the title role, gently pleading, then becoming almost Scarpia-like in his malevolence. His long Act II duet with Janice Watson, a fine, assertive Sybil, is an expressive tour de force. Thomas Booth’s Richard is strong and confident. Lloyd, as conductor, secures colourful and committed contributions from all his singers and the Philharmonia is in good form.

-- Ian Lace, BBC Music Magazine
Works on This Recording
1. John Socman: Act 1, scene 1 by George Lloyd
Performer: Janice Watson (Soprano), Malcolm Rivers (Baritone), Thomas Booth (Tenor), Michael [bass] George (Bass)
Conductor: George Lloyd
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra, London Voices
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1951 ; England
2. John Socman: Act 1, scene 2 by George Lloyd
Performer: Michael [bass] George (Bass), Thomas Booth (Tenor), Janice Watson (Soprano), Malcolm Rivers (Baritone), Diana Montague (Soprano)
Conductor: George Lloyd
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra, London Voices
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1951 ; England
3. John Socman: Act 2, scene 1 by George Lloyd
Performer: David Wilson-Johnson (Bass), Janice Watson (Soprano)
Conductor: George Lloyd
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1951 ; England
4. John Socman: Act 3 by George Lloyd
Performer: Michael [bass] George (Bass), Thomas Booth (Tenor), David Wilson-Johnson (Bass), Janice Watson (Soprano), Malcolm Rivers (Baritone), Diana Montague (Soprano)
Conductor: George Lloyd
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra, London Voices
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1951 ; England
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