It is, as I acknowledged, splendid to have the Symphony No.2 on disc. It is a work, as Paul Conway says in his (as ever) marvellously detailed and hugely informative booklet notes, which does not reveal its secrets easily and which requires further and concentrated listening.
Lyrita-I am now more than happy to concede-were right to release Bryden Thomson's premiere performance of the Symphony No.4. Thomson-such a very fine and grossly underestimated conductor-gives the Fourth an urgency and passion which elevates the work and makes it an even more impressive creation than I had judged it from the composer's own recording.
The First, on the other hand, in a boxy recording (described fairly as "imperfect" by Lyrita) is, in my judgment, diminished in the composer's own reading with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra. I certainly prefer Barbirolli's Halle performance from the 1958 Proms. No better recorded perhaps but more powerful and more polished. Sadly, I remain unconvinced that Lyrita were right to issue this performance.
However....these criticisms or, more properly, doubts do not diminish my infinite gratitude to and admiration for Lyrita and the Itter Project. I look forward with eager anticipation to future releases. Please.......can we have some Daniel Jones soon?
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