BBC Concert Orchestra


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Love Story: Piano Themes From Cinema’s Golden Age

Love Story: Piano Themes From Cinema’s Golden Age


Warsaw Concerto



Cornish Rhapsody


Portrait of Isla

Bennett, R R:

Murder on the Orient Express: Overture


Legend of Lancelot

Davis, C:

Pride and Prejudice: theme




On Golden Pond: New Hampshire Hornpipe


The Mansell Concerto

Lucas, L:

Stage Fright Rhapsody from Stage Fright

Rota, N:

The Legend of the Glass Mountain


The Unforgettable Year 1919 - suite Op. 89a: The Storming Of Red Hill (Assault On Beautiful Gorky)

Williams, Charles:

Jealous Lover (The Apartment)

The Dream of Olwen

Valentina Lisitsa explores the glorious music of cinema’s unparalleled golden era.

Valentina looks back to the cinematic glory days of the big screen, performing the finest piano concerto music composed especially for film.

A genre originally influenced by Rachmaninov’s popular piano concertos, these pieces are arresting original scores for piano and orchestra composed for movies of the 1940s and 1950s including Dangerous Moonlight, Stagefright, and The Apartment.

The album also brings us up-to-date with captivating music from Murder on the Orient Express, On Golden Pond and Pride & Prejudice.

This is a feast of original works by well-known luminaries such as Nino Rota, Richard Addinsell, Carl Davies, Richard Rodney-Bennett and Dimitri Shostakovich, set alongside scores from Charles Williams, Hubert Bath, Robert Farnon and others.

These pieces feature in films by legends such as Alfred Hitchcock, Leslie Arliss and Mark Rydell, accompanied by the great actors of the time such as Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Albert Finney, Jack Lemmon, Ingrid Bergman and many more.

Decca - 4789454



(also available to download from $10.00)

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English Fantasy

English Fantasy

Music for clarinet and orchestra


Clarinet Concerto 'The Woolwich'

Hawes, P:

Clarinet Concerto


Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite


Concerto for Emma

Emma Johnson (clarinet)

BBC Concert Orchestra, Philip Ellis

This album is particularly close to my heart because it contains music written especially for me; the composers have paid me the great compliment of writing with my playing in mind, in some cases collaborating closely with me, in others simply prese nting me with a finished work, and in all cases creating a distinctive, English piece which makes a worthwhile addition to the repertoire for solo clarinet with orchestra.

These four composers have all also dared to write melodically whilst still managing to find new things to say. Does it take courage to write melodically? Well, yes, when you live in an age where art has to be forever stretching boundaries to be taken seriously. However English Fantasy contains music which I hope will entertain and move a contemporary audience whilst unapologetically rooting itself in the traditions of the past.

“An amiable disc exploring the light end of contemporary clarinet composition in works written especially for soloist Emma Johnson. This is music that doesn’t make too many demands on the listener, yet is well crafted” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

Nimbus Alliance - NI6328



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Arthur Sullivan: Macbeth, The Tempest & Marmion Overture

Arthur Sullivan: Macbeth, The Tempest & Marmion Overture

Sullivan, A:


The Tempest - incidental music (excerpts)


Mary Bevan (soprano), Fflur Wyn (soprano), Simon Callow (speaker)

BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Singers, John Andrews

This 2-CD set brings together for the first time Arthur Sullivan’s complete incidental music to Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest with his concert overture, Marmion. The Tempest was Sullivan’s graduation work from the Leipzig Conservatoire, and its rapturous reception in London in 1862 launched his career. The Macbeth music comes from the other end of Sullivan’s creative life. Commissioned by Henry Irving for his famous production at the Lyceum Theatre, it includes sublime melodic writing, ravishing orchestration (including the atmospheric use of two harps) and a dark dramatic energy. For both plays, Sullivan interwove music and text seamlessly – most impressively in the scenes between Macbeth and the Witches. Simon Callow’s wonderful performance of Shakespeare’s text makes it possible to appreciate how truly theatrical this music is. Marmion was composed after the epic poem by Walter Scott, which culminates in the Battle of Flodden Field. Until now, it has been heard only in a heavily abbreviated version. This recording restores the composer’s original narrative structure, with sparkling playing from the BBC Concert Orchestra.

This SACD is compatible with all CD players


“The BBC Concert Orchestra play with warmth and style, the BBC Singers go at it with spirit and Mary Bevan makes an enchanting Ariel. John Andrews does an excellent job of integrating the orchestra with Simon Callow’s spoken chunks of Shakespeare” Gramophone Magazine, October 2016

“the music is pure delight. Mary Bevan’s Ariel beguiles the ear.” Sunday Times, 24th July 2016

Super Audio CD


Hybrid Multi-channel

Dutton - 2CDLX7331

(SACD - 2 discs)


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Cecil Armstrong Gibbs: Suite in A for Violin and Orchestra

Cecil Armstrong Gibbs: Suite in A for Violin and Orchestra

Gibbs, C A:

Crossings - suite for orchestra, Op. 20

World Premiere Recording

The Enchanted Wood, Op. 25 (1919) - a dance phantasy for piano, violin obbligato and strings with soloists

World Premiere Recording

Ben Dawson (piano) & Charles Mutter (violin)

A Vision of Night, Op. 38 - Symphonic Poem

World Premiere Recording

Dusk (from Fancy Dress)

Suite, Op. 101

World Premiere Recording

Charles Mutter (violin)

The Cat and the Wedding Cake (from the television operetta Mr Cornelius)

World Premiere Recording

Four Orchestral Dances

World Premiere Recording

“On the strength of this well-filled disc of premiere recordings, [Armstrong Gibbs’s] light orchestral music [is]…charming, well-crafted and warmly melodious…[and] it’s hard to imagine anyone making a more handsome case than Ronald Corp and the BBC Concert Orchestra do here.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“Decently performed, lovingly recorded, Dutton’s conspectus, chronologically arranged, sensibly includes his famous slow waltz, Dusk – the half-light is Armstrong Gibbs’s orchestral speciality” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 ***

Super Audio CD


Hybrid Multi-channel

Dutton - CDLX7324



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Miklós Rózsa: Cello Concerto & Sinfonia Concertante

Miklós Rózsa: Cello Concerto & Sinfonia Concertante


Concerto For Cello And Orchestra, Op. 32

Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Cello & Orchestra, Op. 29

Philippe Graffin (violin)

Alto - ALC1274



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Cyril Rootham: Symphony No. 2 & Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity

Cyril Rootham: Symphony No. 2 & Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity


Symphony No. 2

BBC Broadcast 28 January 1984

Scottish Philharmonic Singers & BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity

BBC Broadcast 18 December 1975

Teresa Cahill (soprano), Philip Langridge (tenor) & Michael Rippon (bass-baritone)

Trinity Boys Choir, BBC Singers & BBC Concert Orchestra

‘Rootham has done much for other contemporary composers; unfortunately he has been deficient in peddling his own wares’. This verdict on Cyril Rootham may serve to explain the neglect his music suffered during his lifetime. However, the general indifference it has encountered subsequently is unfathomable. It is to be hoped that this Lyrita release, which echoes the enterprise of the same label’s pionee ring 1976 studio recording of the First Symphony will reawaken interest in a key figure in early twentieth century British music.

Composed between 1925 and 1928, Rootham’s setting of Milton’s Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity, for soprano, tenor and baritone soloists, chorus, a semi-chorus of boys’ voices and orchestra, is the composer’s most ambitious and accomplished choral work. It won the 1928 Carnegie Competition and was premiered successfully on 13 June 1930 under the composer’s direction. A performance in Gloucester at the 1934 Three Choirs Festival brought further acclaim. The performance presented here is a 1975 recording of a BBC Radio 3 broadcast marking Rootham’s centenary. Vernon Handley’s assured handling of this large score is constantly impressive and he highlights its tiniest ge stures and flecks of colour as well as moulding convincingly its epic, sweeping paragraphs.

Rootham first conceived the idea of a symphonic work with choral finale in 1936 at a time when he beagn to suffer from progressive muscular atrophy. The Symphony No.2 was completed at a stage when Rootham was no longer able to write and could barely speak, ten days before he died in March 1938. The result can be regarded as a deeply personal statement or rather, given the circumstances of its creation, as a testament. The overall effect is all the more poignant because it shuns sentimentality and self-indulgence. It was premiered on 17 March 1939 at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult. This performance under Vernon Handley was first broadcast on 28 November 1984. Handley’s grasp of this fragile, elusive symphonic piece is as impressive as his 1976 studio account of Rootham’s First Symphony (also available on Lyrita SRCD269) and constitutes arguably an even greater interpretive achievement.

Lyrita Itter Broadcast Collection - REAM2118

(CD - 2 discs)


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Leigh, W: Jolly Roger

Leigh, W: Jolly Roger

or ‘the Admiral’s Daughter’

Neilson Taylor (Sir Roderick Venom), Alan Dudley (Sir William Rowlocks), Vernon Midgley (Jolly Roger), Leslie Fyson (Bold Ben Blister), Gordon Faith (The Bloody Pirate), Marietta Midgley (Amelia), Helen Landis (Miss Flora Pott), Patricia Whitmore (Prudence Wary)

The Ambrosian Singers & BBC Concert Orchestra, Ashley Lawrence

In 1942 The Musical Times reported a ‘grave loss’ referring to Walter Leigh’s tragically early death, killed in action whilst serving in a tank regiment near Tobruk, just before his thirty-seventh birthday. Though during his lifetime he was more than once compared to Sir Arthur Sullivan, from a contemporary standpoint an equally pertinent analogy could be drawn with a composer from a later generation, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. Both men approached film music and ‘light music’ with the same seriousness of purpose and invested it with the same impeccable craftsmanship they brought to their concert pieces.

With a cast headed by George Robey, known to audiences as ‘the Prime Minister of Mirth’, the comic opera in three acts, Jolly Roger or ‘The Admiral’s Daughter’ opened at the Opera House, Manchester on 13 February 1933. Running for over six months, it transferred to the Savoy Theatre, London on 1 March 1933 and moved from there to the Lyceum Theatre on 5 June 1933, accruing a total of 199 performances. Jolly Roger enjoyed a critical success from the outset. The Morning Post referred to the ‘delicious grace’ of Leigh’s music, whilst another contemporary review demonstrates that Leigh was highly prized in his own lifetime for his gifts as a melodist: ‘Here, at last, is an English composer who can write light music with style and finish. Yes, a second Sullivan is not too high praise’. It is likely that the plaudit Leigh himself would have prized most highly came from Constant Lambert, who commented, ‘I know of no music that is more enjoyable both intrinsically and satirically than the music of The Pride of the Regiment and the recently produced Jolly Roger. One has the rare and enjoyable sensation of both having one’s cake and eating it’. The BBC radio broadcast presented here was first aired on Radio 3 on 21 December 1972. Heard again, more than forty years later, its seagulls, splashes of water and pirate accents make it something of a period piece in its own right. Nonetheless, it is the deftness and allure of Leigh’s music that makes the strongest impression.

Lyrita Itter Broadcast Collection - REAM2116

(CD - 2 discs)


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Walter Braunfels Vol. 2

Walter Braunfels Vol. 2

World premiere recordings


Symphonic Variations

Sinfonia Brevis, Op. 69

Der Gläserne Berg, Op. 39b: Suite

Walter Braunfels, who died in 1954, was one of the great twentieth-century German composers who were temporarily eclipsed by the Nazi era and the 1950s avant-garde. This second volume in Dutton Epoch’s survey of Braunfels’ memorable orchestral music spans from his luxuriant early Symphonic Variations on a French Children’s Song to the utterly delightful orchestral suite The Glass Mountain (Der Gläserne Berg) and the powerfully satisfying Sinfonia Brevis.

“[The Glass Mountain Suite] is given a touching performance, with a number of fine performances from individual players…[in the Sinfonia brevis] the lyrical passages are turned on their heads by the dramatic episodes; these could sound overwrought in the wrong hands but Wildner seems to have this music in his blood.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

Dutton - CDLX7316



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Brian: Symphony No. 1 'Gothic'

Brian: Symphony No. 1 'Gothic'

Susan Gritton (soprano), Christine Rice (mezzo-soprano), Peter Auty (tenor), Alastair Miles (bass) & David Goode (organ)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Concert Orchestra, The Bach Choir, BBC National Chorus of Wales, Brighton Festival Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus, Côr Caerdydd, Eltham College Boys’ Choir, Huddersfield Choral Society & London Symphony Chorus, Martyn Brabbins

On 17 July 2011 over 800 performers gathered in London’s Royal Albert Hall to give a rare performance of Havergal Brian’s Symphony No 1 in D minor—‘The Gothic’. Tickets for this Prom sold out within 24 hours, and so it gives us great pleasure to make this live recording available to all.

It’s a pretty phenomenal work. Responding to the challenge set by Sir Henry Wood, the composer has thrown just about every known orchestral instrument into the mix, then adding a double chorus of over 500, plus children’s choirs, for an hour-long Te Deum—the church’s blazing Hymn of Thanksgiving—which makes up the symphony’s finale.

Whether or not you were lucky enough to be there on the night, this is a recording not to be missed.

“As ideas tumble forth in Havergal Brian’s epic scheme, you cannot help admiring his fervour in getting it all down on paper. It remains one of the oddities of the English symphonic repertoire, but Martyn Brabbins and his legions of players and singers do it proud.” The Telegraph, 2nd December 2011 ****

“Hyperion's release is a perfect one, of a great event, a magisterial work and an encapsulation of the enormous difficulties of the project as a whole...[Brabbins emphasises] the kaleidoscopic variety of speeds, textures and invention in the score. Aided by Hyperion's sensational sound, details which barely registered before become crystal clear...I cannot recommend it strongly enough.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

“credit to Martyn Brabbins for overseeing a performance which emphatically does not play it safe: enabling the piece to be appreciated for a formal evolution as oblique and purposeful as is its emotional progression...the discreet but intent control exerted over the vast numbers leaves no doubt as to his conviction. That the capacity audience betrays so few sign of its presence says much in itself.” International Record Review, January 2012

“Where to begin? This is a hugely impressive record of a great performance, but I’m not convinced that this is great music. But you can’t help feeling thankful that once in a generation we’re given the chance to hear something of this magnitude and judge the results for ourselves” The Arts Desk, 11th February 2012

“the best [recording] yet. There's an ongoing buzz of Proms atmosphere that grips from start to finish; and the recorded sound succeeds phenomenally at somehow fitting Brian's hugest climaxes alongside the delicate scoring of other passages into a convincing perspective. Under Brabbins's forthright direction, even the work's poorer passages (and whatever Brian's fanatical supporters say, there are plenty) don't sprawl.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2012 ****

“This seems likely to become the top recommendation of this huge but strange symphony for many years to come...The BBC Proms is one of the few organisations which is capable of putting on a performance of this epic work, and I was thrilled to learn that Hyperion would be releasing it. It is well worth hearing.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 28th November 2011

Presto Disc of the Week

28th November 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2012

Hyperion - CDA67971/2

(CD - 2 discs)


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Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music, Op. 61

Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music, Op. 61

Choreography - George Balanchine

Patricia Barker, Paul Gibson, Seth Belliston, Lisa Apple, Julie Tobiason, Ross Yearsley, Jeffrey Stanton & Timothy Lynch

Pacific Northwest Ballet & BBC Concert Orchestra, Stewart Kershaw

This Blu-ray Disc (BD) is not compatible with standard DVD players.

LENGTH: 94 Mins

“Pacific Northwest Ballet’s presentation of Balanchine’s Midsummer Night’s Dream [blew my mind] this evening. … Wonderful Balanchine choreography, excellent dancing and a terrific production.” Ballet Magazine

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte - OABD7003D



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