Paul makes a major issue in the first and fifth paragraphs of his review of the availability or rather limited availability of the previous Dutton releases of the Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4 and the price for the cd/s advertised on Amazon.
In fact the double cd Dutton release coupling the Barbirolli version of No.1, the 2008 Royal Scottish National Orchestra recording of No.4 under the composer's baton and the Viola Concerto is available directly from Dutton at the more than reasonable price of £10.99
I have absolutely no difficulty with Paul's welcome for the Lyrita release. My reservations centred around the decision to duplicate recordings of these two particular symphonies. I am only too happy to acknowledge the appearance of Symphony No.2 on disc but I agree with Paul that the Symphony No.3 would have made an admirable coupling (perhaps rather than the Fourth?).
It is always difficult to criticise a company like Lyrita-to whom we owe such a debt of gratitude, firstly for recording so much neglected British music and now for making recordings from the Richard Itter Collection available.
However I find myself puzzled by the forthcoming Lyrita release of the Humphrey Searle Symphonies Nos. 3 and 5 (from the Itter Collection) when we already have the CPO recordings of these works from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Alun Francis. That forthcoming Lyrita cd will also include recordings of two orchestral works by Searle which are not otherwise on cd-"Labyrinth" and the Zodiac Variations-and those I certainly welcome.
There is always room for alternative readings of the more obscure works from the orchestral repertoire. The performances may be better but, if they are from radio broadcasts from forty years or so ago, it is improbable that the sound quality will be an improvement.
Above all however what I would certainly prefer are recordings of works which are not otherwise on cd. There are a substantial number of such works which, I guess, Itter recorded and which might have first preference. That was why I was so delighted by the Arnold Cooke, William Wordsworth annd Peter Racine Fricker releases from Lyrita.
Yes...I suppose this is carping and I do not want it to cloud my admiration and gratitude for what Lyrita is doing for those of us who love British music. It would however be remiss of me not to at least query these repertoire choices by the company.
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