CLASSICAL LOST AND FOUND
FORGOTTEN MUSIC BY GREAT COMPOSERS AND GREAT MUSIC BY FORGOTTEN COMPOSERS
31 MARCH 2023
The albums below are "Classical Releases Of Current Key Significance," or "CROCKS", if you will. To purchase an album, simply click on one of the web site retail outlets given in the "AVAILABILITY" table under the write-up.
Foerster, J.B.: Festive Overture, Symphony No. 1, From Shakespeare; Štilec/Janáček PO [Naxos]
AUDIOPHILE (1 CD)
Czech composer-musicologist-pedagogue Josef Bohuslav Foerster (1859-1951) was born in Prague, where he also studied. Upon graduation, he became Antonín Dvořák's (1841-1904) successor as organist at St. Vojtěch Church, taught music, and began a highly successful career as a music critic.
Then in 1888 he married Czech soprano Berta Lautererová (1869-1936), and they moved to Hamburg, Germany, where Josef continued his work as a critic and taught at the local Conservatory. He also met Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), who'd become a close friend.
During 1903, the couple took up residence in Vienna, and Foerster continued to make a living as a music critic. However, 1918 saw them journey back to Prague, where Josef became a renowned teacher, and would be declared a National Composer (1946). He'd die in Nový Vestec, some 15 miles northeast of Prague.
Foerster left a large body of works across all genres, the ones here being a good sampling of those in the orchestral category. That said, the opening Festive Overture (Festive Prelude) (Op. 79; 1907) [T-1] is a sonata-form creation that smacks of more jubilant moments in his compatriot Bedřich Smetana's (1824-1884) music.
It opens with declamatory timpani strokes [00:01] that announce an initial, exhilarant theme (E1) [00:07] that's followed by a charming second (C2) [01:15]. Subsequently, both undergo an E1-initiated, thrilling development [02:18], after which C2 calls up a triumphant recapitulation [05:30] with valiant reminders of E1 [06:54]. And just after you think all this has ended, there's a surprise, C2-E1-based coda [08:49] that closes the piece ecstatically.
Next we're treated to J.B.'s Symphony No. 1 in D minor (Op. 9; 1887-88), which is the first of five. In four movements, the initial, theme-and-variations-like one [T-2] has a wistful, "Adagio (Slow)" introduction [00:00].
This hints at a flowing melody (FM) soon heard at the outset of the subsequent "Allegro con brio (Lively with spirit)" portion [00:58]. FM is repeated [01:50] and followed by playful [02:57], flighty [05:06] as well as songlike [07:03] treatments. After that, a headstrong variant [08:13] with a subdued afterthought [09:48] ends the movement uneventfully.
A following "Andante sostenuto (Slow and sustained)" marked one [T-3] begins with a comely lyrical melody [00:00] that's the subject of a lovely rhapsody. This builds to a stirring climax [beginning at 04:08], which ebbs away, bringing things to a tranquil conclusion.
However, the foregoing is offset by an "Allegretto Scherzando (Lively and playful)" third [T-4], which has vivacious outer sections [00:00 & 02:25] based on a whimsical nexus (WN) [00:00]. They surround a trio that's a fugal treatment of WN [01:40-02:25], and end the movement full circle.
The final, sonata-form, "Allegro energico (Fast and energetic)" [T-5] one has a heroic, opening theme (H1) [00:00] that's explored [00:31] and followed by a mischievous idea (M2) [01:02], which is toyed with [01:39]. Subsequently, H1-initiates a vivacious development [01:56] as well as a thrilling recap [05:47] that turns triumphant [07:38]. Then the latter wanes into an H1-based coda [08:19], which ends the work victoriously.
Foerster showed an early interest in the theater and even thought of becoming an actor, so it's not surprising that he composed a considerable amount of music for the stage. Some of this was inspired by William Shakespeare's (1564-1616) plays, and in that regard, J.B. also wrote an orchestral suite called From Shakespeare (Op. 76; 1908-09).
Here a pensive, "Andante moderato (Moderately slow)" Introduction subtitled 'Zas, mrtvé postavy, mne oblétáte... (Again, dead characters fly around me...)' [T-6] sets the stage for this work's four, subsequent movements. And first off, The Winter's Tale (pub. 1623) is commemorated with an "Allegro scherzando (Fast and playful)" one named Perdita [T-7], who was one of that play's heroines (see her likeness on the album cover).
This is a charming tone-picture having a delicate opening [00:00]. It gives way to sequentially coquettish [00:42], dramatic [01:59] as well as dancelike sections [04:08, 05:14 05:55 & 06:26], the last of which ends things like they began.
The next "Andante (Slow)" is a musical characterization of Viola [T-8], who was the female lead in The Bard of Avon's "Twelfth Night (1601-02). Here tender passages invoke a couple of dramatic interludes [01:29-02:15 & 03:41-04:13] and close the movement tranquilly.
Then the mood turns tragic in the following "Andante sostenuto (Slow and sustained)" Lady Macbeth [T-9], who appears in what's euphemistically called The Scottish Play (1606). Her music is based on an initial anguished thought [00:00] that builds to a dramatic climax [02:41], only to wane away, thereby ending the movement like it began.
But happier times are envisioned in an "Allegro energico (Fast and energetic)" honoring Katherina (Kate), Petruchio and Eros [T-10]. The first two names belong to characters in The Taming of the Shrew (1590-92). As for the third, it would seem that Foerster had the Greek god of love in mind.
This begins with a puckish ditty presumably representing Petruchio (PP) [00:00], followed by a callous theme that's ostensibly Kate's (CK) [00:17] as she's "The Shrew". These ideas interact with one another, and there are some seemingly, Eros-related developmental treatments [02:34 & 04:36], where it would appear the couple fall in love and marry. Then the work comes to a joyful conclusion [beginning at 06:15] with a PP-CK-based coda [06:57] that ends things playfully.
The Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra under Czech conductor Marek Štilec (b. 1985) delivers authoritative, sensitive, beautifully played accounts of this music by a native son. More specifically, Maestro Štilec brings out all the intricacies of these superbly scored works.
The recordings of Festive.. [T-1] and From... [T-6 thru 10] were made 6-7 January 2021, while the Symphony... one [T-2 thru 5] was done on 19/22 March of that year. All three took place at the House of Culture in Ostrava, some 170 air miles east of Prague. They present a consistently generous sonic image in pleasant surroundings. The overall orchestral timbre is characterized by splendid highs, a rich midrange and clean bass. The sound here is about as good as it gets on conventional CDs.
-- Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found (CLOFO.com, Y230331)
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Kabeláč: Mystery of Time, Hamlet Improvisation, Reflections, Metamorphoses II; Sekera/Ivanović/PragRSO [Supraphon]
RECOMMENDED (1 CD)
Coming on the heels of that above Foerster release, here's one featuring another Prague-born, Czech composer, namely Miloslav Kabeláč (1908-1979). He studied at the Prague Conservatory (1928-31) and later taught there (1957-68).
Miloslav was a strong supporter of democratic principles. Consequently, he fell afoul of his country's reigning authorities when it was under Nazi control (1938-45), and then became a socialist republic (1948-89) with ties to the Soviet Union. Things got even worse when he began incorporating avant-garde elements into his music.
Consequently, he didn't receive much recognition during his lifetime. However, all of that has changed in recent years. And when you hear this release you'll understand why he's now considered one of his country's finest symphonists (he wrote eight), and ranked with the likes of Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) as well as Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959).
The program begins with his Mystery of Time (Op. 31; 1953-57), which he called a "Passacaglia for Large Orchestra" [T-1]. As for the work's underlying meaning, he once spoke to friends about gazing up at the starry sky and the emotional thrill of cosmic events.
That said, it starts pianissimo with an ostinato having a chorale-like melody presumably representing Father Time [00:02]. Then the music becomes increasingly agitated [beginning at 07:59] and builds to a dramatic climax, followed by spirited, imitatively-spiced passages [11:35]. These bridge into ones [19:39] that seemingly represent the timelessness of the cosmos and end the piece with an eternal glow.
Then we get the composer's Hamlet Improvisation (Op. 46; 1962-63), which requires a large orchestra [T-2]. This was written for the 1964 Prague Spring International Music Festival, and honors the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth (1564-1616). Oddly enough, The Bard of Avon was also the subject of selections on that preceding Foerster release as well as the following Norman one.
Kabeláč felt that although Hamlet was an imaginary character, he was an extraordinary example of an individual, who was highly conflicted with moral issues important to all mankind. Moreover, the word "Improvisation" reflects the composer's attempt to musically characterize these dilemmas. Consequently, this is a colorfully scored piece full of conflicting themes, harmonies, rhythms, tempos and dynamics.
It has opening drum passages [00:00, 00:13 & 00:26] interspersed with apprehensive ones [00:12, 00:25 & 00:39], the last being a troubled idea (TI) that presumably represents Hamlet's state of mind. TI then undergoes several developmental treatments that range from pugnacious [02:52] to inquiring [03:40], timorous [04:44], but with troubled outbursts [05:16, 05:40, 05:59 & 06:29], belligerent [06:49], increasingly vivacious [08:34] and introspective [12:21]. Then a resigned one [13:36] ends the piece tranquilly.
Reflections (Op. 491; 1963-64), which the composer described as "Nine Miniatures for Large Orchestra", begins with a thrilling, martial one [T-3] that sounds like it could be the accompanying music for a call to arms in some film score. It's followed by an impressionistic tidbit [T-4], which may remind you of Ravel (1875-1937).
Subsequently, there's a percussively-accented, bellicose offering [T-5] succeeded by oneiric [T-6], sinister [T-7], flighty [T-8], marchlike [T-9] and fidgety [T-10] ones. Then an eerie ninth [T-11] brings the work to a mystic conclusion.
The final Metamorphoses II (Op. 58; 1972, rev. 1979) is scored for piano and orchestra. It's based on the melody for the oldest known Czech hymn that's titled Hospodine, Pomiluj Ny (Lord, Have Mercy on Us) and dates from the 10th or 11th century. Incidentally, this work is an alternate version of the composer's Metamorphosis I (Op. 57; 1979), which is a seven-movement cantata (see the album notes) that's not currently available on disc.
As for the piece here, it's sinfonia-concertante-like and has six, short, unmarked movements. The first [T-12] finds the piano playing the above hymn tune (HT) interspersed with short brass pronouncements. Then HT undergoes five variational treatments, the first being rather agitated [T-13].
This is succeeded by a delicate one [T-14] having an antsy midriff [01:52-02:40], and a commanding version just for the soloist [T-15]. After that the orchestra returns for a reverent treatment with church-bell-like chimes [T-16]. Then a forceful, fortissimo fifth [T-17] brings the piece and disc to a stark, no-nonsense conclusion.
Czech pianist Miroslav Sekera delivers a confident, technically accomplished performance of this piece. He receives outstanding support from his fellow countryman, conductor Marko Ivanović, and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (PRSO), who go on to give us superb readings of the other three selections.
The recordings were all done at the Czech Radio's Studio 1 in Prague, but on four separate occasions. More specifically, they took place 21-23 October 2019 (Mystery... [T-1]), 3-11 February 2020 (Reflections [T3 thru 11]), 29-30 September 2020 (Hamlet... [T-2]) and 1-2 March 2022 (Metamorphoses I [T-12 thru 17]).
Despite the differing times, they present a consistently generous sonic image in dry surroundings, with the pianist centered and well captured in front of the orchestra. As for the overall instrumental timbre, it's characterized by occasionally shrill highs, an acceptable midrange and transient bass. While this CD falls a bit short of an "Audiophile" rating, Kabeláč's audacious music will soon have you forgetting any sonic shortcomings.
-- Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found (CLOFO.com, P230330)
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Norman, L.: Concert Ov, Funeral March "To the…", Ov to Shakespeare's…, Symphony No. 3; Gustavsson/Oulu SO [Ondine]
AUDIOPHILE (1 CD)
Born in Stockholm, composer-conductor-pianist-educator Ludvig Norman (1831-1885) started playing the piano as a youngster, and would give his first concert performance in 1846. However, Dad died around that time, leaving him without any money to pursue a musical education. But the great Swedish soprano Jenny Lind (1820-1887) and a couple of other benefactors made it possible for Ludvig to study at the University of Music and Theatre Leipzig between 1848 and 1853.
After graduation, Norman went back to Stockholm and began a highly successful career that included giving recitals and private lessons as well as composing. Then the year 1858 saw him become a professor of composition at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music (RSAM) until 1961, when he was appointed chief conductor of the Royal Swedish Opera's (RSO) orchestra.
During the 1860s Ludvig also accompanied Moravian, violin virtuoso Wilma Neruda (1839-1911), whom he married in 1864. However, they were divorced in 1869, and Norman resumed his duties at the RSAM and RSO right up until his death in Stockholm. He also managed to leave a number of works across most genres. These include three symphonies, one of which is featured on this recent Ondine release along with three shorter orchestral selections.
The program starts with his Concert Overture in E♭ major (Op. 21; 1856) [T-1], which has a slow, dramatic introduction [00:03]. The latter hints at a confident theme (C1) that's soon heard [02:19] and invokes the remaining, "Allegro (Fast)", sonata-form portion of this work. C1 then bridges into a wistful second idea (W2) [03:28] and initiates a stirring development [04:38]. Subsequently, W2 begins a recapitulation [06:31] with powerful reminders of C1 [08:04] that end things triumphantly.
Grandeur turns to grief in the next Funeral March in B♭ minor (Op. 46; 1876) [T-2], bearing the subtitle "To the Memory of August Söderman". Norman wrote this in memory of his close colleague at the RSO, who died at only 43 (1832-1876). It's a ternary, A-B-A-structured piece, where morose "A"s [00:02 & 03:40] surround a related, ruefully lyrical "B" [02:08-03:39] and end things full circle.
Then we get his Overture to Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (Op. 57; 1881) [T-3], which could almost be a continuation of that Foerster suite (see above). This was written for the 1881 Stockholm premiere of The Bard of Avon's eponymous tragedy (1606-07).
It opens with a proud theme (P1) presumably representing Roman General Mark Antony (83-30 BC), and wanes into a bewitching idea (B2) [01:05] ostensibly portraying his ladylove, Egyptian Queen Cleopatra (69-30 BC). Then P1 returns [01:54] invoking a martial episode [02:57], which seemingly recalls the Battle of Actium (31 BC). This has interim B2-related moments [03:40] recalling Cleopatra, who was the co-commander of this naval engagement.
Subsequently, trumpet fanfares [05:02] herald passages [05:23] indicative of their defeat and retreat back to Egypt. After that, martial ones [07:57] most likely represent the Battle of Alexandria (30 BC), which marked Antony's final defeat. These come to a forceful ending; however, an underlying note [08:59] bridges attacca into sad P1-B2-remembrances [09:16].
They momentarily burst into a couple of fortissimo chords [09:59], where seemingly to use the words of Roman poet Virgil (70-19 BC), "Omnia vincit armor (Love conquers all)". But then some sad afterthoughts [01:07] bring the work to a tragic conclusion.
The disc is filled out with Norman's four-movement Symphony No. 3 in D minor (Op. 58; 1881). Incidentally, the distinguished, Swedish music critic Adolf Lindgren (1846-1905) thought this was his finest and had the first symphony's "clear shape and refreshing humour" along with the second's "deep and powerful musical content".
Its opening "Allegro appassionato ma non troppo presto (Lively and passionate but not too fast)" [T-4] is sonata-formish with a grim introduction [00:02] hinting at an agitated, austere theme (AA) that soon appears [00:32]. Then AA is explored [01:03] and wanes into a charming coquettish idea (CC) [02:02], which is examined [02:46].
Subsequently, AA initiates a captivating, extended development [04:16] and powerful recapitulation [09:37]. The latter has an AA-CC-based coda [11:43] that ends the movement with four, fortissimo chords [12:02] for full orchestra!
The next "Andante cantabile (Flowing and songlike)" [T-5] is best described as a theme-and-variations. It opens with a pious, chorale-like melody (PC) [00:01] that undergoes six treatments. These range from antsy [01:20] to reverent [02:06], fugal [02:33], assured [04:38], playful [05:48] and nostalgic [06:16], where the latter closes the movement tranquilly.
Then we get a scherzoesque, "Allegro molto commodo (Very fast and accommodating)" one [T-6]. Here capricious outer sections [00:01 & 03:44] bracket a waggish trio [01:38-03:43] and end things with a jocular, "So there!" cadence [04:25].
The final "Allegro molto (Very fast)" [T-7] is of sonata-rondo disposition and begins with a lively, jubilant idea (LJ) [00:00] reminiscent of AA (see above). LJ is soon followed by a related, tuneful thought (LT) [00:12]. Then LT and LJ play developmental leapfrog with each other [beginning at 00:26], after which a recapitulative, triumphant LJ [05:04] ends the movement and disc joyfully.
These performances feature Finland's Oulu Symphony Orchestra (OSO), based some 330 air miles north of Helsinki. They were done under Scandinavian-born-and-trained Johannes Gustavsson (b. 1975), who formerly served as the OSO's Chief Conductor (2013-2021). Together they make a strong case for a little-known, Swedish composer, who's now considered to be one of that country's best symphonists after the likes of Franz Berwald (1796-1868).
The recordings were made 27-31 May 2021 at the Oulu Music Center's Madetoja Hall, and project a satisfying sonic image in good surroundings. The orchestral timbre is characterized by highs that would have been more lifelike had this been an SACD. However, the midrange is convincing, while the bass is lean and clean.
-- Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found (CLOFO.com, Y230329)
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Goodwin, Ron: Drake 400 Ste, New Zealand Ste, Arabian Celebration, 7 Short Pieces; Goodwin/NZSO [Naxos]
AUDIOPHILE (1 CD)
Originally released in 1996 on the now defunct Marco Polo label, those who love British Light Music and didn't get that CD will want this Naxos reissue. What's more, it costs considerably less than back then!
English composer-conductor Ron Goodwin (1925-2003) was born in Plymouth, England. From the age of five he learned how to play the piano as well as the trumpet, and even joined the school band. Then when he was nine the family moved to London, where Ron attended a couple of grammar schools, and continued to study the trumpet at what's now known as the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
In 1943, after a job with an insurance company, he began working for the BBC as a copyist and arranger. Subsequently, 1957 saw him start writing music for films that would eventually total somewhere over 70, many of which have since become classics. Also, starting in 1987 he began concentrating on orchestral works for the concert hall. That said, a sampling of his music in both of these categories fill out this disc.
Towards the end of the 20th century he began traveling abroad and giving concerts of his music. That's evidenced by this release, which finds him conducting the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO).
First off, we get the main theme from his score for a film titled 633 Squadron (1964) [T-1]. The story concerns a fictional World War II British bomber unit, and this is striking music from one of his most impressive scores. It features a call-to-arms, brass-enhanced, idea [00:01 & 02:22] wrapped around a more lyrical, related tune [01:52-02:21].
Next there's one of Ron's concert works, namely his six movement "Drake 400 Suite" (1980), which commemorated the 400th anniversary of Sir Francis Drake's (1540-1596) return to Plymouth after he'd circumnavigated the world (1577-1580). It begins "Andante maestoso (Slow and majestic)" with "The Eddystone Seascape" [T-2] that conjures images of great ships making their way through heavy seas.
This flows attacca into an "Adagio tranquillo (Tranquilly flowing)" marked "Song of the Mewstone" [T-3], which is a melancholy offering based on a sad melody introduced by the cor anglais [00:08]. But things liven up in the subsequent "Giocoso (Playful)" number called "Hornpipe: The Barbican" [T-4].
That's succeeded by a "Lento tranquillo (Slow and tranquil)" movement named "The Hoe on a Summer Night" [T-5] and an Allegro moderato (Moderately fast)" companion called "March: Plymouth Hoe" [T-6], which is a festive martial offering. And then there's an "Andante maestoso (Slow and majestic)" reprise of "The Eddystone Seascape" [T-7] with a shimmering, chime-accented preface [00:00] and dramatic final coda [01:57] that ends the work jubilantly.
From the late 1950s and during the 1960s Ron recorded many albums for George Martin (1926-2016) of Beatles-fame, and the next selection titled Puppet Serenade (1961) [T-8] resulted from one of that great producer's suggestions. Be that as it may, this is a delicate, petite march based on a charming tune [00:01].
The next selection is another, six-movement concert work. It's called "New Zealand Suite" (1983), and was commissioned by the NZSO (see above), which he'd conducted on previous occasions during his trips abroad.
Its opening movement is titled "Aotearoa", which in the language of New Zealand's Māori people means "The Land of the Long White Cloud" [T-9]. This is what they call their homeland, which consists of two islands, and the music here is a moving paean limning reputedly one of the most beautiful spots on earth.
The next "Milford Sound" [T-10] is a tone picture of a scenic fjord located along the southwest coast of the country's South Island. Here a comely melody [00:00] waxes and wanes, thereby painting a tone picture of this glistening body of water with its gorgeous surroundings. Then it's on to the North Island for a "Picnic at Rotorua" [T-11], which has a geothermal area with hot springs and geysers. Accordingly, this is based on a bubbly, boiling ditty featuring a feverous flute [00:00].
Subsequently, Goodwin takes us back to South Island, but this time to Lake Wakatipu for "The Earnslaw Steam Theme" [T-12]. This honors the turbine steam ship Earnslaw that's named after a mountain located alongside the lake, which has been the ship's home port since 1912.
It has a relaxed introduction [00:00] that calls up chugging, rhythmic passages [00:27] mimicking this vessel's engines. They're soon overlaid with an ambulant melody as the Earnshaw gets underway [00:35], and gradually fade away as it disappears from view.
The next "A & P Show" [T-13], celebrates rural, agriculture and produce activities that are important to every New Zealander. It starts with a vivacious, brass-enhanced fanfare [00:00] followed by a festive theme [00:08]. Then the latter undergoes a couple of capricious treatments with the sounds of nickering horses [01:00 & 01:11], barking dogs [01:02 & 01:08] and cackling chickens [01:07 & 01:15].
After that there's "Po Atarau", which is Māori for "Now is the hour" [T-14]. This features the tune for a song sung as a farewell to Māori soldiers going off to World War I (1914-1918). It became a world-wide hit in 1948 and ends the work on a nostalgic note.
"Arabian Celebration" (1988) [T-15] was commissioned by the BBC Arabic Language Service to celebrate its 50th anniversary. This is a colorfully scored, ternary, A-B-A-structured piece having sportive "A"s [00:00 & 07:19] featuring a lively, Eastern-sounding dance tune (LE) [00:16]. They surround a seductive "B" [01:58-07:18] with an exotic, LE-reminiscent thought [02:08] and bring things full circle.
Apparently George Martin (see above) produced a Parlophone album of Ron's music titled Out of This World! (1958), which included the next selection, "Venus Waltz" [T-16]. This is an attractive number featuring an amative idea [00:00] reminiscent of Johann Strauss II's (1825-1899) more tender moments.
Then 3/4 turns to 2/4 time in the following "Prisoners of War March" subtitled "The Kriegie" (1980) [T-17]. It was commissioned by the RAF Ex-POW Association, and has a festive fanfare [00:00] followed by a main melody [00:10] that may remind you of Sir Edward Elgar's (1857-1934) Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 in G (Op. 39.4; 1907).
Next there's "Minuet in Blue" (1974) [T-18], where we're not given any particulars regarding its origin. In any case, this is a delightful miniature for strings and harp, which is a delicate, Blues-tinted version of that dance.
Subsequently, the silver screen lights up again with the main title from Goodwin's score for a film titled The Trap (1966) [T-19], which became "The London Marathon Theme" [T-19]. Set in the mountains of British Columbia, the movie's leading character is a fur trapper, and the intrepid selection here finds him paddling his canoe down a mighty river.
Returning to Parlophone (see above), one of their later albums had Ron's "Girl with a Dream" (1964) [T-20]. This is a songful, beautifully scored, bongo-drum-seasoned piece.
Then it's back to the movies with the main theme from the Authurian fantasy Lancelot and Guinevere (aka Sword of Lancelot; 1963), which Ron scored in 1962 [T-21]. This begins with chivalrous passages characterizing the valiant Lancelot [00:01]. They're interspersed with a tender one indicative of his love for Guinevere [01:54] and end the piece as well as this disc valiantly.
These performances feature the NZSO (see above) conducted by the composer. Consequently, they can be considered as definitive!
The recordings were made back in November 1993 at Symphony House in New Zealand's capital city of Wellington located at the southern tip of North Island. They present a spacious sonic image in a splendid venue that has just the right amount of reverberation. The orchestral timbre is characterized by pleasant highs, a rich midrange and clean bass. One can't help wondering if these were remastered as today's conventional CDs don't get any better sounding than this.
-- Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found (CLOFO.com, Y230328)
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