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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 mei 2014 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Record of the Month
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Koormuziek - Verschenen op 2 februari 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
The new Coventry Cathedral was built as an act of reconciliation after the destruction of its mediaeval original during World War II. For its consecration in 1962, a celebratory arts festival was organised, which included the commission of major works from Britten, Tippett, and Arthur Bliss (1891-1975). Of these, Britten’s War Requiem and Bliss’s The Beatitudes were intended for performance in the cathedral. In the event, only Britten’s work was performed in the setting for which it had been conceived. In April 1961 the festival events were outlined in The Times ; Bliss’s The Beatitudes is mentioned as the major new work to be performed in the cathedral. However, « owing to logistical circumstances », the opening concert would be moved to the Belgrade Theatre, of which Bliss was unaware until a few weeks before the premiere. There is no question that Bliss from the outset expected The Beatitudes to be performed in the cathedral, for the instrumentation included a part conceived for the newly installed organ. Doubtless, as Master of the Queen’s Music, Bliss could have dug his heels in and insisted that his work take precedence over Britten’s; but that would have gone against the grain of his values. Without a second thought, Bliss gave way to his younger colleague; moreover, he greatly admired Britten’s genius. Unfortunately the premiere was fraught with difficulties. In his autobiography, As I Remember, Bliss noted that critics hoped that a performance would be given in the Cathedral, its rightful place, on ‘the earliest possible occasion’. It took half a century for this to occur, as part of the cathedral’s Golden Jubilee, in 2012. In The Beatitudes, the texts comprise the nine Beatitudes, an Old Testament passage, poems by three seventeenth-century metaphysical authors, and one poem from the 20th Century. Although he seemed poised on the brink of a brilliant career in Britain, in 1923 Bliss moved to the USA for an unspecified period, accompanying his father who, having lived in England for over thirty years, wished to return to his homeland. Many in Bliss’s position would have hesitated interrupting their career at such a critical juncture; however, so close was the bond between father and son that personal ambition was irrelevant; besides, his half-American ancestry made Bliss curious to see the country the heritage of which he shared. His two-year American sojourn was also significant for his future : with the sounds of the excellent American orchestras ringing in his ears, Bliss composed the Introduction and Allegro in 1926. He dedicated it to Stokowski, who gave the American premiere, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, in 1928. With the Introduction and Allegro, the music of Bliss moves a stride forward to his mature voice, away from the febrile character of his postwar works. Considering that Bliss was appointed Master of the Queen’s Music in 1953, it is surprising that sixteen years elapsed before he produced an arrangement for chorus and orchestra of the National Anthem. Regal fanfares and ceremonial orchestral links between the stanzas give this version all the flair that made the tenure of Bliss as Master of the Queen’s Music distinctive and successful. It is for Royal Choral Society’s USA tour in 1969 that Bliss made his version of ‘God Save the Queen’, setting the first three stanzas. © SM/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 29 juni 2018 | Nonesuch

Booklet Onderscheidingen Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 4 september 2012 | ICA Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 1982 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 maart 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Florent Schmitt made his name in his mid-thirties with such rich, resplendent scores as La Tragédie de Salomé and Psalm 47. Their brilliance, however, should not have overwhelmed so much the rest of his output, for he lived another half century, and, as his Second Symphony demonstrates, retained his creative energy to the end. The initial occasion for the two Suites from Antoine et Cléopâtre recorded on this album was one of the extravaganzas put on in Paris by Ida Rubinstein, a woman whose sheer cold beauty gained an extra lustre from the vast wealth she inherited, and who was ready to display both – the looks and the lucre – majestically in the theatre. Having arrived in the French capital with Diaghilev’s company, she soon went independent. In June 1920 she took over the Paris Opéra for five gala performances of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, with herself as Cleopatra opposite the flamboyant Édouard De Max in a new translation which she had commissioned from André Gide. The titles of the six movements that Schmitt extracted in his two suites generally tell us where to place them within the action. In December 1957, 37 years later, Schmitt completed his Second Symphony, his last major work, at the age of eighty-seven. As lavish as his earlier music and as rhythmically sophisticated, emphatically bounding in fast passages and supple in slow, the symphony has nothing valedictory about it. Happily, the composer was there in Strasbourg in June 1958 for the first performance, conducted by Charles Munch. He died two months later. This was Schmitt’s only symphony in the strict sense, and it is not clear why he called it “No.2”. Of the two possible candidates for the “No.1” spot – his Symphonie concertante for piano and orchestra of 1931 and Janiana, a symphony for strings a decade later – neither is altogether convincing. Maybe the numbering was just an old man’s whim. © SM/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 16 februari 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 juni 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 september 2016 | Chandos

Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | ICA Classics

Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 februari 2018 | Chandos

Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | ICA Classics

Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 april 2012 | NMC Recordings

Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 16 februari 2018 | Warner Classics

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 november 2012 | NMC Recordings

Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 1999 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 november 2013 | ICA Classics

Booklet