GEORGE LLOYD - Symphonies 6 and 7

Buy CD from Amazon
GEORGE LLOYD - Symphonies 6 & 7 - BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra - Edward Downes (Conductor) - 5020926113528 - Released: September 2017 - Lyrita REAM.1135

In 1952 Richard Itter, the founder of Lyrita, began to make domestic recordings of BBC transmissions using state-of-the-art disc and tape recorders. He documented his collection but rarely listened to it, thus preserving a pristine archive. The Lyrita Recorded Edition Trust began a transfer programme in 2014 with the intention to release the best and rarest of these recordings to the public. {Lyrita Records}

All of you Lyrita followers and collectors out there, and there are many, will be glad to know that these excellent analogue recordings of the Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7 by George Lloyd (1913-1998), produced from BBC radio broadcasts dating back almost 40 years, have now been added to the Lyrita catalogue. These world première broadcasts took place from studio recordings done in 1979/80. Despite having been composed during the late 1950s within a short span of about three years, the two symphonies could not be any more different to one another. The Sixth, in typical mid-century British fashion, opens with a few bars of what sounds like one of William Walton's regal marches, which sets the tone for a light and upbeat first movement filled with many lyrical touches. The second movement Adagio on the other hand sets a beautifully idyllic tone laden with grievous sadness which Lloyd adroitly prevents from falling into despair. In my opinion, one of the most affecting slow movements of any English symphony. The third movement closes everything with multiple jaunty melodies vying for position, and ends on a highly fanfaric strut. The Seventh, subtitled 'Proserpine' and based on the story of this Greek mythological figure, is obviously programmatic in nature and earnestly more dramatic in tone. Lloyd completed the final orchestration of this work in 1974, and it is scored for a larger orchestra including multiple percussion instruments. Its climactic passages, especially in the final movement, are characterized by passionate and fierce power, and colorful and brilliantly evocative instrumental touches.

Edward Downes established his reputation mostly as an opera conductor but he was also a staunch advocate for the music of British composers. One of his earlier recordings of the Symphonies 4, 5 and 8 by George Lloyd, also on Lyrita, has always been highly recommended by critics and fans alike. In typical Lyrita fashion, these analogue recordings are as they should be: warm, dynamic, and projecting a highly natural orchestral depth and spread.

Jean-Yves Duperron - October 2017