I well recall the work of Groves when I was growing up in the North of England during his period in Liverpool. I think it's worth emphasising one aspect of his career in addition to the points made by Michael in his review, namely Groves' record as a pioneer, both on the concert platform and in the recording studio.
He conducted a lot of rare and contemporary repertoire, especially with the RLPO. For instance I think I’m right in saying he was the first to conduct a full Mahler symphony cycle in the UK. I went to his performance of the Eighth in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral which Michael Kennedy, reviewing the performance, memorably described as ”the apotheosis of Groves on Merseyside” – that would have been in about 1978, I think.
Many of the recordings in this box were first recordings of the works in question or if not premiere recordings then the first modern recordings.
Among those which I believe were first recordings were Elgar’s Caractacus, The Black Knight and The Light of Life. The Brian 8th & 9th symphonies were first commercial recordings, I'm sure. Other recorded premieres included in this box are Bliss Morning Heroes; Vaughan Williams' Hugh the Drover; the Frank Bridge pieces; Arnold's Second Symphony; and also, I think, the Sullivan symphony. Delius's Koanga may also have been a first recording.
Sir Charles Groves brought a lot of pieces to new audiences. He was rather a remarkable man.
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