Author Topic: Sir Arthur Bliss  (Read 26043 times)

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tjguitar

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Sir Arthur Bliss
« on: April 16, 2007, 08:20:19 AM »
Another thread that should be made...I'm still looking for the recent Hickox/violin concerto recording on chandos but I haven't found it at a decent price yet. 

Here's my collection thus far:


« Last Edit: June 14, 2007, 02:52:24 PM by tjguitar »

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2007, 08:42:12 AM »
For some discussion & recommendations from the old forum see this thread on 20th Century English Composers:)

Harry

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2007, 09:37:04 AM »
All the Naxos issues are in my collection, and I am well satisfied with them. :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2007, 01:12:53 AM »
There's a good EMI double CD of Groves's "Colour Symphony" "Things to Come" "Adam Zero" etc.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Daverz

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2007, 01:17:17 AM »
I didn't like Groves Colour Symphony, it just seemed to miss the poetry of this music, but maybe I'm too used to the Lloyd Jones recording.

The ASV recording of the complete Checkmate is excellent.  BRO has this and the Lloyd Jones.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 01:22:48 AM by Daverz »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2007, 09:48:48 AM »
I didn't like Groves Colour Symphony, it just seemed to miss the poetry of this music, but maybe I'm too used to the Lloyd Jones recording.

The ASV recording of the complete Checkmate is excellent.  BRO has this and the Lloyd Jones.

The Groves is my favourite but I'll try the Lloyd Jones again.  I'm looking forwatd to Lyrita reissuing Hugo Rignold's recording of "Meditations on a theme of John Blow", which is my favourite work by Bliss. Also, I hope that EMI will reissues John Westbrook's version of "Morning Heroes"
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

tjguitar

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2007, 02:49:50 PM »
Today I received a new(ish) Bliss CD..



The Colour Symphony is good, But I prefer Handley's.  The Violin Concerto is good too.

Offline Christo

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2007, 01:23:49 PM »
For sentimental reasons (I discovered it a a youth, and cannot listen to it with objectivity), the Colour Symphony remains a personal favourite. I still stick to the Nimbus recording of it: Barry Wordsworth conducting the BBC Welsh SO, and coupling it with the late Metamorphic Variations.
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2007, 03:11:10 PM »
For sentimental reasons (I discovered it a a youth, and cannot listen to it with objectivity), the Colour Symphony remains a personal favourite. I still stick to the Nimbus recording of it: Barry Wordsworth conducting the BBC Welsh SO, and coupling it with the late Metamorphic Variations.

I love Bliss's own recording (Dutton) which I had on a fine old Decca Eclipse LP. I also like his "Things to Come" suite more than any other recording. Rignold's best ever Meditations on a theme by John Blow will be issued on Lyrita later this year (with Music for Strings).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Christo

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2007, 09:30:43 AM »
I love Bliss's own recording (Dutton) which I had on a fine old Decca Eclipse LP. I also like his "Things to Come" suite more than any other recording. Rignold's best ever Meditations on a theme by John Blow will be issued on Lyrita later this year (with Music for Strings).

Again for very sentimental reasons - as I discovered them somewhere in my pre-pubescence  ::) - I love his own recording of 'Things to Come' more than any other (I tried them all, later, but couldn't find the same level of excitement that his own version produced with me). Tho' I own his own recording of the Colour Symphony as well, I must confess I never played them. But NOW I will! - many thanks!.

Good news about the John Blow Meditations, too. I heard that version long ago - but own them only in some BBC Radio recording, I think conducted by Charles Groves.
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2007, 02:58:23 AM »
Again for very sentimental reasons - as I discovered them somewhere in my pre-pubescence  ::) - I love his own recording of 'Things to Come' more than any other (I tried them all, later, but couldn't find the same level of excitement that his own version produced with me). Tho' I own his own recording of the Colour Symphony as well, I must confess I never played them. But NOW I will! - many thanks!.

Good news about the John Blow Meditations, too. I heard that version long ago - but own them only in some BBC Radio recording, I think conducted by Charles Groves.
The thing about Bliss's own recording of "Things to Come" (Belart/Dutton) is that he includes a short but very atmospheric and threatening section "Machines" which is unaccountably not included in all the other recordings (Rumon Gamba on Chandos being the exception). I think that Bliss knew best what to include in the suite from his own music!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Hector

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2007, 04:45:38 AM »
I love Bliss's own recording (Dutton) which I had on a fine old Decca Eclipse LP. I also like his "Things to Come" suite more than any other recording. Rignold's best ever Meditations on a theme by John Blow will be issued on Lyrita later this year (with Music for Strings).

Hugo Rignold, there's a 'Blast from the Past.'

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2007, 06:34:44 AM »
Can I put in a plea for some of the choral music written by Sir Arthur Bliss? Most of the orchestral music has now been recorded but Bliss wrote some formidable and substantial choral works-the Cantata "The Beatitudes", The Golden Cantata, the Cantata "Mary of Magdala"-to name but three, all written when he was in his 70s.

With Naxos doing sterling work for some of the choral compositions of composers like Finzi and Howells recently I wonder if that company would explore the Bliss Cantatas?

Offline sound67

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2007, 07:17:44 AM »
For sentimental reasons (I discovered it a a youth, and cannot listen to it with objectivity), the Colour Symphony remains a personal favourite. I still stick to the Nimbus recording of it: Barry Wordsworth conducting the BBC Welsh SO, and coupling it with the late Metamorphic Variations.

On the whole, the Wordsworth to me still seems the best recording of the Colour Symphony. Energy and poetry in equal measure.

Handley would be the runner up. The recent Hickox is rough and ready (just like his recent RVW "Sea Symphony"), the Lloyd-Jones is solid, but too matter-of-fact.

The Bliss disc I treasure most though is this one from the Nash Ensemble:



It contains some of Bliss' then-scandalous short works like "Madame Noy" and "Rout" (original version), as well as a version of "Conversations" superior to the one on Naxos. Also, there is the lovely Oboe Quintet.

The Violin Concerto that is also on the Hickox CS CD is a more problematic, meandering work. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to hunt down copies of either of Campoli's recordings of this work (both under Bliss, 13 years apart). Mordkovitch I think may not be the ideal soloist for this piece, at least not at the present stage of her career.

I like the Cello Concerto a lot, although it is a slighter work (acknowledged by Bliss himself who wanted to redesignate it as a Concertino). Robert Cohen and Raphael Wallfisch have both made very engaging recordings of it (under Barry Wordsworth and Vernon Handley, respectively).

Also worth having are the beautiful Music for Strings, the ballets Checkmate and Adam Zero, the chamber music, and his film scores. The work I like least is the Piano Concerto. On the whole I'd rate his earlier works above his later oeuvre. His music is a unique combination of Stravinsky and Elgar, with Stravinsky dominating the earlier part of Bliss' career, Elgar the latter.

Thomas
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

Harry

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2007, 07:49:30 AM »
What about this one, am inclined to buy this.

tjguitar

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2007, 07:58:21 AM »
What about this one, am inclined to buy this.

Yes, that is  good. I'm not a big fan of "The Enchantress", but the Colour Symphony & Cello Concerto are worth it.

Offline sound67

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2007, 08:02:29 AM »
Seconded. The Enchantress is a pleasant but unremarkable piece. This is the Handley CS that I was referring to as the "next best" recording of the piece.

Never got to hear "Morning Heroes", Bliss' large-scale oratorio/choral symphony which he wrote to cope with the death of his brother - as the Wigglesworth CD (was it Wigglesworth?) went out of print before I could get hold of it. Also, the EMI British Composers version is long gone.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2007, 08:08:45 AM by sound67 »
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

Harry

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2007, 08:16:42 AM »
Right, thank you, in the order bin then! :)

Offline sound67

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2007, 08:36:11 AM »
Quote
http://imagegen.last.fm/basicrt10/recenttracks/tjguitar85.gif

BTW: That's a rather disappointing version of Korngold's The Sea Hawk. Get the two suites by Charles Gerhardt, or thew Previn version. Stromberg and the Moscow band lack panache throughout!

Thomas
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

tjguitar

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Re: Sir Arthur Bliss
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2007, 10:50:00 AM »
BTW: That's a rather disappointing version of Korngold's The Sea Hawk. Get the two suites by Charles Gerhardt, or thew Previn version. Stromberg and the Moscow band lack panache throughout!

Thomas

I have the Gerhardts (and the Kojian). Ive read nothing but awful about the Previn recordings.