I must admit I haven't made much headway with Bainton's third;try as I might. But then you haven't much headway with Respighi's Sinfonia Drammatica!!
Although,as I found out very recently on the Respighi thread,it has got some fans!! That said,I'm sure Bainton's third is infintely more subtle!!
More fool me,eh?!!
I must admit I do prefer his Second. I find the themes a bit diffuse in the third. I just can't get a grip on any real structure. The second,however has a memorable theme which reappears at intervals (it's a while since I heard it). It's very Baxian in atmosphere,but has a 'flavour' of it's own. Lovely!
I do also have a problem with the choice of coupling by Dutton. Boughton's First! Why not more Bainton? I must admit I dislike Dutton's 'habit' of coupling two different composers,if it's anyone other than Arnell or Havergal Brian!! I just find it annoying! I like to concentrate on one specific composer at a time;but there we are;maybe that's just me? Although,I know that at least one critic on Musicweb expressed the same view of Dutton's coupling tendencies. Of course,you can make a cd-r with just one composer;but I don't really want to do that if I can help it!!
More importantly,I suppose,is the fact that Boughton's first symphony is dull.........and I'm someone who likes Boughton. In fact,I think he deserves a bit better than he gets. I like his second and third symphonies. They are fine pieces of music. I think the second is absolutely lovely. I like all the music on the Hyperion cd;which includes his Flute Concerto and Concerto for String Orchestra. Finely crafted music,all of it! I love his Bethehem (also on Hyperion) and I like his unexpectedly more astringent,The Queen of Cornwall,even more than his Immortal Hour. But his First Symphony,NO!!! I appreciate that it's an early work,but imho I do think coupling it with the Bainton was a ghastly mistake. The couplings for the Second are much better,and they do work quite well together.
On the other hand,sometimes a coupling of two different composers does work very well! The BBC Radio Classics cd of Bantock's Pagan Symphony,in a very satisfying and different performance by the late lamented Edward Downes is a case in point. I think the juxtaposition of the Bantock and Bax's Tintagel and Northern Ballads is very apt. The legendary atmosphere of the music by both composers chosen here, just makes this a perfect disc for me. Which is more than I can say for Hyperion's choice of (or Handley's?) Fifine at the blasted Fair!! Not a favourite I'm afraid. For some reason,if I have to listen to it Beecham's performance is my preference,anyway,even if it's cut and in mono!! It just has more poetry! In fact,I even
quite like parts of it his performance. That said,it's still not a favourite. For years this would have been the only accessible Bantock available. When I put the Lp on I would wonder what the rest of his music was like. The fact that it was the only Bantock I could hear meant it actually got more plays than it would have had otherwise. I never actually thought I would ever hear anything else by this composer!! The old emi recording makes me a bit sad though;because Beecham did,apparently,express a desire to record more of these neglected composers. I think Holbrooke may have been another one? Alas,it never happened. A Beecham recording of the Hebridean,Celtic Symphony or Pagan would have been truly special! And maybe a Beecham,Ulalume?! This (and Bantock's neglect at the time of the recording,and my own youth) gives the Beecham recording a certain poignancy which possibly helps to make Fifine a little more appealing than it would,or should be!! I actually do play it now and again as it is in that emi box set of English composers. On the final cd,if memory serves me correctly?!!