Arthur Bliss: The Lady of Shalott (Ballet) & Orchestral Works



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22 Νοεμβρίου 2022


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Arthur Bliss:Answering You [Your Questions Answered]Contrasts (2) for string orchestraHeritage of Britain (versions A & B -1950)March of HomageRout for Orchestra and SopranoSuite for Piano: PolonaiseThe Lady of Shalott

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Arthur Bliss:Answering You [Your Questions Answered]Contrasts (2) for string orchestraHeritage of Britain (versions A & B -1950)March of HomageSuite for Piano: PolonaiseThe Lady of Shalott
BBC Concert Orchestra (Ορχήστρα)Martin Yates (Μαέστρος)
Arthur Bliss:Rout for Orchestra and Soprano
Ilona Domnich (Soprano)
BBC Concert Orchestra (Ορχήστρα)Martin Yates (Μαέστρος)

Martin Yates and the BBC Concert Orchestra present glorious yet unfamiliar music by Arthur Bliss. Bliss’s late ballet, “The Lady of Shalott” (1958), has been unjustly forgotten, deserving to be danced again, and with its Arthurian setting proves to be quite a find. In the varied and tuneful supporting programme, perhaps the biggest surprise is the catchy “One-Step” (1923 orch 1936), which reveals Bliss as being up-to-the-minute with the popular music of his day. Piano music heard anew yields the “Polonaise” (1925), another engaging miniature suitable for either the concert or the ballet stage. Bliss described the “Rout” for soprano and orchestra (1920) as evoking “the sound of a carnival overheard at a distance,” and in this spirited, lyrical confection, soprano Ilona Domnich gets into the party spirit with her medley of made-up words. “Two Contrasts” (1950 arr 1972) comprises dynamic orchestral versions of movements from Bliss’s Second String Quartet, while a pair of BBC radio signature tunes takes us back to 1944 and 1950. Lastly, Bliss’s tribute to Winston Churchill on his death in 1965, “March of Homage in Honour of a Great Man,” constitutes the composer’s Churchill Funeral March, and it is good to hear it performed so rousingly in its orchestral dress.

The colourful scoring, together with some characteristic melodic and harmonic twists, go right back to the Colour Symphony of the 1920s… it’s hard to imagine a more persuasive performance, and the recording is warm and three dimensional. — BBC Music Magazine, January 2022, 4 out of 5 stars (Performance) / 5 out of 5 stars (Recording)