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Scored for a large orchestra, including an extensive percussion section, Sir Arthur Bliss’s Metamorphic Variations dates from the end of his creative life.
Inspired by the triptych Tantris painted by Bliss’s long-time friend, the late George Dannatt, it is a work of extremes, of enormous power, passion and violence balanced by gentleness, whimsy and delicacy.
Meditations on a Theme by John Blow is one of Bliss’s most eloquent and personal scores, a private tribute to a generation cut down in its youth, including his own brother, during World War I.
Arthur Bliss: Meditations on a Theme by John Blow
Introduction: The Lord is my Shepherd - I will fear no evil
Meditation I: He leadeth me beside the still waters
Meditation II: Thy rod and staff they comfort me
Meditation III: Lambs
Meditation IV: He restoreth my soul
Meditation V: In green pastures
Interlude: Through the valley of the shadow of death
Finale: In the house of the Lord
Arthur Bliss: Metamorphic Variations
Variation 1: Elements
Variation 2: Ballet
Variation 3: Assertion
Variation 4: Speculation
Variation 5: Interjections
Variation 6: Scherzo I
Variation 7: Contemplation
Variation 8: Polonaise
Variation 9: Funeral Processions
Variation 10: Cool Interlude
Variation 11: Scherzo II
Variation 12: Duet
Variation 13: Dedicated to G.D. and A.D.
Variation 14: Affirmation
“...Lloyd-Jones [probes] beyond its obvious aspect as a display piece for the various sections of the orchestra. Indeed his performance makes me feel that the work may have been a kind of self-portrait of its creator...This is certainly a disc that no British music fan should be without.”
“If Sir Arthur Bliss wrote a finer work than the Medititations on a Theme of John Blow then I would like to hear it...Bliss's score is a glowing exhibition of his compositional prowess...Meditations has been recorded before...yet the newcomer is beautifully played, well paced and boasts the finest sound to date.”
6th May 2010
“Together with the Colour Symphony...the Meditations on a Theme of John Blow is Bliss's most considerable orchestral work, and arguably his greatest achievement. Its tone is both pastoral and elegiac...It's touchingly effective”