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Classical - Released January 1, 1991 | Nimbus Records

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Classical - Released May 25, 2010 | Naxos

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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Naxos

Booklet
Arthur Bliss was one of the generation of English modernists who came of age in the shadow of Elgar and the Great War. In his time, Bliss was the last word in driving rhythms, gleaming colors, and dazzling virtuosity, but his time passed and these days Bliss enjoys a reputation south of Arnold and north of Brian in the Pleiades of English modernists. This brilliant recording should help restore Bliss' reputation. The Piano Concerto is a grand work in the best virtuoso tradition, the Piano Sonata is a tough and sinewy work, and the Concerto for Two Pianos is a lighter and more lyrical work that pianist Peter Donohoe plays with precision and panache. Donohoe is one of the best English pianists of his generation and a compelling advocate of Bliss' music, turning in a bravura Concerto, a muscular Sonata, and a captivating two-piano Concerto with second pianist Martin Roscoe. David Lloyd-Jones leads the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in performances that are strong in themselves, yet wholly integrated with the soloist's conception of the works. Naxos' sound is crisp and vivid. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 7, 1996 | Naxos

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Classical - Released February 23, 1999 | Naxos

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Symphonic Music - Released August 1, 1991 | Chandos

Even for those listeners who love the English composers of the first half of the twentieth century, Adrian Bliss is a bit recherché. More modernist and more cosmopolitan than even William Walton, Bliss was nevertheless a lesser composer than Walton. Although no one doubted his technique, no one was quite sure about his sincerity. The modernist irony of so much of Bliss' music lessens the emotional effectiveness of his symphonic rhetoric. Even at his grandest and most public in A Colour Symphony, he is curiously unconvincing. This 1987 recording of A Colour Symphony along with The Enchantress and the Cello Concerto by Vernon Handley leading the Ulster Orchestra is as impressive as the work is likely to sound in Handley and the Ulster's performance. The themes are big, the harmonies are bigger, the rhythms are bigger yet, and the colors are the biggest of all, but none of it is especially memorable. One recalls being impressed more than one remembers the music. One remembers Linda Finnie's swooping mezzo soprano and Raphael Wallfisch's soaring cello far more readily than remembering the music they performed. Chandos' early digital sound seems less hard and glaring in this reissue. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 1, 2014 | SOMM Recordings

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released October 30, 2015 | Chandos

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British choral music may sometimes have a ceremonial tinge that requires a leap of faith from the contemporary listener, but Sir Arthur Bliss' Morning Heroes is a good deal more personal: Bliss was wounded and hit with poison gas during World War I, and his brother Kennard was killed. Morning Heroes, composed in 1930, has the sense of a personal reflection, and it's quite somber. The work is set to war poetry by Homer, Li Tai Po, Walt Whitman, Wilfred Owen, and Robert Nichols, giving the poem to a narrator and developing the textual ideas in both chorus and orchestra. Musical settings of Homer, from whom all other Western poetry flows, are rare, and the two excerpts from the Iliad, depicting Hector's farewell to Andromache and Achilles going into battle, capture the unsentimental quality of the text and have a good portion of real tragedy. The narrator is the British actor Samuel West, who delivers clear, understated readings, but Davis is the real star, bringing detail and a unified tone to what was surely an unfamiliar score for the musicians. The Chandos engineering team, working at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, captures the depths of the complex score. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 9 de Classica-Répertoire - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released June 1, 2003 | Naxos

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Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
Bliss composed The Enchantress in 1951, the year of his sixtieth birthday, for Kathleen Ferrier. The text is a free adaptation of the Second Idyll of Theocritus, made by Henry Reed, and well suited to Bliss’s love of classical Greek authors. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, from 1955, was written for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), the first in a number of commissions from the John Feeney Trust. Inspired by John Blow’s Coronation Anthems, the work is a set of variations on a Sinfonia from that collection, each variation reflecting the text of a verse from Psalm XXIII. Described as a sacred cantata, Mary of Magdala was Bliss’s second Feeney Trust Commission, composed during 1962 and 1963. For a libretto, Bliss turned to Christopher Hassall, his collaborator on three previous works, including The Beatitudes. Bliss conducted the premiere at the Three Choirs Festival in 1963, and wrote in his programme note: ‘One of the loveliest stories in the New Testament is that in the 20th chapter of St John’s Gospel, telling of how Mary Magdalene, lingering at the sepulchre, was the first to see the risen Christ. She, supposing him to be the gardener.’ The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus give of their best under their former chief conductor Sir Andrew Davis, and the contributions from the soloists, Dame Sarah Connolly and James Platt, are outstanding. © Chandos
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Classical - Released June 4, 1996 | Naxos

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Chamber Music - Released April 30, 1997 | BIS

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Classical - Released June 5, 2020 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released December 1, 2018 | Lyrita

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Classical - Released November 1, 2007 | Lyrita

Booklet
Of the English modernist composers who came of age after the First World War, Arthur Bliss has been less well served on record than he deserves. His major works -- Morning Heroes, A Colour Symphony, and the four great ballets -- have received few recordings. Even Bliss' warmly lyrical and instantly appealing Music for Strings has had few recordings, and the recording at hand is perhaps the least successful of them. Hugo Rignold and the Birmingham Symphony deliver scrappy playing, doubtful ensemble, and shaky tempos, so it's hard to say much good about the performance. Listeners unfamiliar with the piece should be guided toward either Adrian Boult or Richard Hickox's more polished recordings. The Meditation on a Theme by John Blow contains some of Bliss' most varied and rhythmically bracing music, and here Rignold's boisterous and rambunctious reading is much more successful, in large part due to the better playing of the Birmingham musicians. The final work here is A Prayer for the Infant Jesus in the only recording yet made at the time of release, by Philip Ledger and the Ambrosian Singers. Scored for women's voices, the work is starkly beautiful and Ledger and the English choir deliver a wonderfully moving performance that could win Bliss new advocates among the English cathedral set. As is standard with Lyrita, the stereo sound here is cool, clear, and honest. © TiVo
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released November 1, 2007 | Lyrita

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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Decca (UMO)