Friday, June 08, 2018

'Orchestral Music, Volume One’ by William Wordsworth

8 June 2018

It’s been a good day for Northampton Symphony Orchestra conductor John Gibbons. A tireless champion of under-rated British composers, John has programmed Charles Villiers Stanford’s ‘Symphony No 6’ for our NSO concert next Saturday, 16 June, at St Matthews Church in Northampton. Remarkably, it appears this may be the first public performance of this lovely symphony for more than 100 years. It’s a really enjoyable piece – reminiscent of Glazunov’s ‘Symphony No 5 (The Heroic)’ which we played with NSO last year (reviewed here in March 2017) and with elements of Richard Strauss. It has been great to get to know the symphony over the last few weeks, even though I am not able to play in the concert (the first NSO concert I have missed for some years). This morning Petroc Trelawny played the first movement of Stanford ‘Symphony No 6’ on BBC Radio 3 and gave the NSO concert a plug. Coincidentally John Gibbons’ new CD with the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra was favourably reviewed by Andrew Clements in today’s Guardian, see: ‘William Wordsworth: Orchestral Music, Volume One’ is the first in a new series of recordings from Toccata Classics. This William Wordsworth (1908-88) was the great-great-grandson of the poet’s brother Christopher. John’s CD features Wordsworth’s 4th and 8th symphonies together with his ‘Divertimento in D Major’ and the playful ‘Variations on a Scottish Theme’. Wordsworth’s music is tuneful and romantic – easy to listen to but with enough complexity and depth to be worth getting to know. Sounds like it would be fun to play ...

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