Tuesday, 23 June 2009

John Ireland: Orchestral Music played by the Halle

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Mai-Dun (1921) The Forgotten Rite (1913-1918) Satyricon Overture (1944-1946)The Overlanders Suite (arr. Sir Charles Mackerras) (1946-1947) A London Overture (1936) Epic March (1942)

The Hallé Orchestra conducted by John Wilson


A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of reviewing this great new recording of music by one of my favourite composers, John Ireland. It is a veritable feast of his orchestral works. In fact it makes an excellent introduction to his music. There are six works on this disc which represent different facets and interests of the composer's achievement.
I opened my review with a little anecdote:-
I was reading the sleeve-notes of this CD on a train from the North Country down to 'The Smoke'. A lady opposite was busy typing away on her laptop. However, I could see that something had caught her eye. I knew that it was not me, so it had to be the CD box! I showed it to her and asked if she knew the music of John Ireland. She shook her head and said, “Never heard of him, but I think the Hallé Orchestra are the best in the world”. Although the conversation ended as quickly as it started, it certainly gave me food for thought.
The advertising blurb on the CD cover quotes a reviewer in The Times. It states quite categorically, “I'd rather listen to the Hallé play English music than any other orchestra in the world.”
So, here are two resounding shouts for the great Manchester-based band. And if I am honest I would have to agree that this present performance of John Ireland's orchestral music is truly superb. This is a great CD that every Ireland enthusiast will insist on having.
All these recordings are essential and I would not be without them. I was introduced to Ireland's orchestral music through the Lyrita LPs so I naturally have a soft spot for them. However, John Wilson and the Hallé have excelled themselves and produced a landmark disc that presents this great music with enthusiasm, passion and understanding.

Please read the full review at MusicWeb International

1 comment:

Mathias Richter said...

John, can you tell me if this recording of Satyricon is somehow cut? Hickox needs almost 13 minutes compared to Wilson's 9.
I don't know the Boult recording either, but Wilson's and Boult's tempo is almost identical.
Or is Hickox that slow?