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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => The Polling Station => Topic started by: vandermolen on August 25, 2020, 01:22:55 AM

Title: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: vandermolen on August 25, 2020, 01:22:55 AM
I'm not expecting many takers for this. I do, however, listen to music by Bliss quite often, currently to 'The Beatitudes' on the Lyrita label which I am enjoying getting to know.
So, here goes:

'Morning Heroes' (the Charles Groves/John Westbrook recording is my favourite)
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow (Hugo Rignold/CBSO on Lyrita is my favourite)
Adam Zero (Handley)
'Things to Come' (Bliss's own recording, recently issued for the first time on CD by Decca)
Hymn to Apollo
A Colour Symphony (Charles Groves)

Bonus choice ( ::)) Oboe Quintet (Melos Ensemble)
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: kyjo on August 25, 2020, 04:22:44 AM
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow
Adam Zero
Checkmate
Piano Concerto
Viola Sonata
String Quartet no. 1

Confession: I still haven’t listened to Morning Heroes! :o Must get around to it soon...
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Papy Oli on August 25, 2020, 04:31:33 AM
I'm not expecting many takers for this. I do, however, listen to music by Bliss quite often, currently to 'The Beatitudes' on the Lyrita label which I am enjoying getting to know.
So, here goes:

'Morning Heroes' (the Charles Groves/John Westbrook recording is my favourite)
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow (Hugo Rignold/CBSO on Lyrita is my favourite)
Adam Zero (Handley)
'Things to Come' (Bliss's own recording, recently issued for the first time on CD by Decca)
Hymn to Apollo
A Colour Symphony (Charles Groves)

Bonus choice ( ::)) Oboe Quintet (Melos Ensemble)

I won't have six, but the three works i have marked in bold are the ones that have definitely impressed me the most.

Maybe Checkmate too. I'd need to listen to the Colour Symphony again.

Beatitudes, the String quartet No.2 and the Clarinet Cto didn't work for me.
Like Kyle, I have yet to listen to Morning Heroes.
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Daverz on August 25, 2020, 04:50:44 AM
Checkmate
A Color Symphony
Cello Concerto
Meditations
Adam Zero
Miracle in the Gorbals
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Christo on August 25, 2020, 05:16:46 AM
A Colour Symphony
Morning Heroes
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow
Miracle in the Gorbals
Checkmate
Things to Come (Suite)
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: springrite on August 25, 2020, 05:44:51 AM
Morning Heroes
Viola Sonata
Hymn to Apollo
String Quartet #1
Cello Concerto
Adam Zero
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: vandermolen on August 25, 2020, 07:20:59 AM
Can't believe there were so many replies already!
Thanks guys  :)

Oh yes, I'm also a big fan of Miracle in the Gorbals and both of the piano concertos. This is more difficult than I thought.
Checkmate was an early Bliss favourite on LP, conducted by Bliss himself. I like the complete ballet rather than just the Suite. On Naxos it's coupled with Mêlée Fantasque which I also like.
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: vandermolen on August 25, 2020, 07:25:11 AM
Morning Heroes
Viola Sonata
Hymn to Apollo
String Quartet #1
Cello Concerto
Adam Zero
Nice to see another vote for 'Hymn to Apollo' - I tend to agree with the suggestion that it's a work that appeals to Apollo the God of Healing after Bliss's trauma of losing his brother in the First World War. Yesterday I enjoyed listening to the Cello Concerto (Chandos).
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: vandermolen on August 25, 2020, 07:25:46 AM
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow
Adam Zero
Checkmate
Piano Concerto
Viola Sonata
String Quartet no. 1

Confession: I still haven’t listened to Morning Heroes! :o Must get around to it soon...

Yes indeed Kyle re: MH.
This is my favourite version:
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Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Symphonic Addict on August 29, 2020, 05:23:48 PM
Bliss is yet unknown to me in a large margin, so I would say these:

A Colour Symphony
Meditations on a theme by John Blow
Piano Concerto
Adam Zero (don't remember well now)

and that's it. What I've heard from his pen has seduced the ears of mine.
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: vandermolen on August 30, 2020, 09:53:20 AM
Bliss is yet unknown to me in a large margin, so I would say these:

A Colour Symphony
Meditations on a theme by John Blow
Piano Concerto
Adam Zero (don't remember well now)

and that's it. What I've heard from his pen has seduced the ears of mine.
Those are all works that I rate very highly in Bliss's output Cesar.
I'd also recommend 'Morning Heroes,, 'Checkmate', 'Hymn to Apollo' and the lovely Oboe Quintet plus the great film score for 'Things to Come' which I gather was the first film score to achieve success as an independent score.
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Symphonic Addict on August 31, 2020, 02:23:50 PM
Good to read, Jeffrey. I've listened to other works by Bliss but I don't have strong memories of them. Overall I've liked what I've heard.
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: vandermolen on September 02, 2020, 02:29:54 AM
Good to read, Jeffrey. I've listened to other works by Bliss but I don't have strong memories of them. Overall I've liked what I've heard.
Thanks Cesar the 'Pastoral' is a rather lovely work which you might like.
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Maestro267 on September 12, 2020, 03:23:25 AM
Checkmate
John Blow Meditations
Piano Concerto
A Colour Symphony
Morning Heroes
Metamorphic Variations
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Roasted Swan on September 12, 2020, 03:42:22 AM
'Morning Heroes' (Charles Groves/John Westbrook)
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow (Handley)
Checkmate (complete score - so Lloyd-Jones)
'Things to Come' (Groves-RPO)
Miracle in the Gorbals (Berglund)
A Colour Symphony (Charles Groves)

In almost total agreement with Vandermolen - just tweaked the preferred performances once or twice - and swapped in Bergulnd's Miracle in the Gorbals for Hymn to Apollo and Checkmate for Adam Zero!
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Christo on September 12, 2020, 05:22:27 AM
A Colour Symphony
Morning Heroes
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow
Miracle in the Gorbals
Checkmate
Things to Come (Suite)
'Morning Heroes' (Charles Groves/John Westbrook)
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow (Handley)
Checkmate (complete score - so Lloyd-Jones)
'Things to Come' (Groves-RPO)
Miracle in the Gorbals (Berglund)
A Colour Symphony (Charles Groves)

In almost total agreement with Vandermolen - just tweaked the preferred performances once or twice - and swapped in Bergulnd's Miracle in the Gorbals for Hymn to Apollo and Checkmate for Adam Zero!
Errr ...  ;)
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: vandermolen on September 22, 2020, 01:08:00 AM
Errr ...  ;)
Yes, I see your point. ;D
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Benji on February 03, 2021, 04:17:46 PM
I wonder how many people know a bit of Bliss but don't realise. Until a few years back the opening fanfare to the televised BBC proms was from Bliss' Colour Symphony, a fact that was unknown to me until I first heard that work in full!

Other than that work, still my favourite Bliss piece, I love Adam Zero - very exciting and tuneful - and the cello concerto. That chandos disc with the music from Things to Come is also great fun.

Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Mirror Image on February 03, 2021, 05:17:50 PM
I don’t even have one favorite work from Bliss. :-\
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: vandermolen on February 06, 2021, 12:20:42 AM
I wonder how many people know a bit of Bliss but don't realise. Until a few years back the opening fanfare to the televised BBC proms was from Bliss' Colour Symphony, a fact that was unknown to me until I first heard that work in full!

Other than that work, still my favourite Bliss piece, I love Adam Zero - very exciting and tuneful - and the cello concerto. That chandos disc with the music from Things to Come is also great fun.
+1 for Adam Zero, I'm surprised that's it's not better known. I like the EMI Bliss boxed set although, oddly, you get two different performances of Music for Strings and none at all of Meditations on a Theme by John Blow or Morning Heroes, arguably two of his greatest works!  ::)
I'm also greatly enjoying the new 'Decca Originals' release:
(http://)
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: Roasted Swan on February 06, 2021, 12:49:43 AM
+1 for Adam Zero, I'm surprised that's it's not better known. I like the EMI Bliss boxed set although, oddly, you get two different performances of Music for Strings and none at all of Meditations on a Theme by John Blow or Morning Heroes, arguably two of his greatest works!  ::)
I'm also greatly enjoying the new 'Decca Originals' release:


Campoli was a great player - relegated these days to the occasional release such as this because he was not one of the very big names of yesteryear.  But he was the driving force behind the Bliss concerto with the composer asking him for advice on the technical aspects of the writing.  I like Campoli's Elgar recording with Boult very much - again a performance almost never mentioned when comparing versions

(https://www.tradebit.com/usr/a60stock/pub/9002/129256370_11bx10.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91hudT89ZGL._AC_SY355_.jpg)
Title: Re: Six favourite works by Sir Arthur Bliss
Post by: vandermolen on February 06, 2021, 12:57:34 AM
Campoli was a great player - relegated these days to the occasional release such as this because he was not one of the very big names of yesteryear.  But he was the driving force behind the Bliss concerto with the composer asking him for advice on the technical aspects of the writing.  I like Campoli's Elgar recording with Boult very much - again a performance almost never mentioned when comparing versions

(https://www.tradebit.com/usr/a60stock/pub/9002/129256370_11bx10.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91hudT89ZGL._AC_SY355_.jpg)
Interesting. I wonder, if in that sense, Campoli's position was similar to that of Solomon in relation to the Piano Concerto.