In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
In this attractive programme, issued as a 2-CD set, Dutton Epoch presents two sides of English composer Michael Hurd’s (1928-2006) musical persona. The first disc is devoted to various charming orchestral compositions spanning the late 1960s to the early 1990s, and is effectively another entry in Dutton Epoch’s British Light Music series. Lorraine McAslan is the persuasive soloist in Hurd’s Sinfonia Concertante, originally written for the Kathleen Merritt Orchestra in 1968 and one of Hurd’s first substantial orchestral works. Oboist Nicholas Daniel is featured in the Concerto da Camera. Dating from the late 1970s, the composer remarked that it formed a “tribute to the genius of Francis Poulenc, and like his work seeks simply to ‘give delight and hurt not’ in a world where obfuscation and gloom are too often the order of the day.”
Over on disc two we have four compositions for large children’s choir with orchestral accompaniment and, in some cases, more modest forces. Charms and Ceremonies from 1969, with words by Robert Herrick, a favourite of the composer, exemplifies Hurd’s instinctive and practical understanding of music for young singers, whilst the nautically-inspired Hip Hip Horatio marks one of the high points in Hurd’s career. Mock-solemn recitative contrasts with choruses in a deft variety of styles. Calypso, waltz and cockney knees-up all play their part in a work steeped in the composer’s intimate knowledge of English musical traditions. With flair and panache, Ronald Corp leads the New London Orchestra and New London Children’s Choir, aided and abetted by various soloists, through this delightful programme, giving us a valuable insight the colourful musical world of Michael Hurd.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.