Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Novelties at Bournemouth 1918-1919: A list of Tantalising Music

I was reading Stephen Lloyd’s seminal book about Sir Dan Godfrey and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra the other day when I came across a list of English music performed during the 24th season (1918-1919) These include a majority of works that have totally disappeared from the repertoire alongside a few that have tenaciously hung on in the repertoire and a couple that have been recently revived. It is worth listing them just to see how interesting and tempting any list of concert programmes from the B.S.O. can be.
Orsmond Anderton: Tone Poem - Virgil
Eric Fogg: Idyll for Orchestra
H.M. Higgs: Suite- Harlequinade
Joseph Holbrooke: Reels and Strathspeys for wind and strings
Charles O’Brien: Overture to Spring
Seymour Powell: The Soul of Sound
Cyril Rootham: Overture –The Two sisters
Percy Fletcher: Suite-Rustic Revels
Haydn Wood: Overture - May Day (Marco Polo CD)
Edward German: Theme and Six Diversions (Marco Polo CD)
W.H. Reed: Violin Concerto
Charles Villiers Stanford: Piano Concerto No.2 (Chandos & Lyrita CD)
Harry Farjeon: Piano Concerto
Arthur Sullivan: Ballet- Victoria and Merrie England (Marco Polo CD)
Even allowing for Godfrey’s sometimes uncritical enthusiasm for new British music there must be some gems amongst this list of works. I guess the Reed and Farjeon Concertos and the Holbrooke would be my top priority, but there are many tantalising titles here that just cry out to be revived – at least once. However that is assuming the scores can be located, which is a tall order indeed.

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