Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bush, Geoffrey. (1920-1998) Orchestral Works.

From my collection.
Bought in 2010.
First listen: 13-4-2010.
Second listen: 26-3-2014.
Third listen: 1-6-2017.
Label: Lyrita.
Running time: 79:07.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works.

Overture Yorick. (1949)
Recording dates: August 1976.
Recording venue: Kingsway Hall, London.
Recording engineer: John Dunkerley.
New Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley.

What an absolute delightful and jolly work, full of musical gimmicks, and good humour, and so well performed and recorded. I had forgotten about this, being almost 3 years ago I have listen to it, and reminded me yet again how well Bush orchestrates. State of the Art recording.


Music for Orchestra. (1967) in 4 movements.

Recording dates: January 1972.
Recording venue: Walthamstow Assembly Hall.
Recording engineer: James Lock.
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley.

This is a well written composition, that gives all the instruments a thorough workout, packed in infectious melodies, and some quirky harmonies that brighten up whatever mood you are in. The orchestration is again quite remarkable.  State of the Art recording.


Symphony No. 1. (1954).

Recording dates: August 1978.
Recording venue: Kingsway Hall, London.
Recording engineer: James Lock.
London SO, Nicholas Braithwaite.

Bush spend two years in writing this Symphony, and was completed in 1954. The opening of this work is rather quiet, but also creating expectancy.  Dissonance creeps in along its way, and a certain harshness seems to disrupt the musical argument, only to be put to rest by the lower strings, but not before announcing in the last measure some unquietness.  [ Look at the stream, there are rocks in its way. Does it slam into them out of frustration? It simply flows over and around them and moves on. Be like the water, and you will know what harmony is]

The second movement has some desperate cries in them, and gives credence to this argument by using the percussion in a harassing way, yet comfort is always close by.
The third movement starts very solemnly, but soon goes over in a sprightly Allegro di molto, with some pastoral sprinklings over it. Rhythmically its all very precise, and well worked out. Eventually the outlook gets very optimistic.. State of the Art recording.

Symphony No. 2. ( The Guildford) (1957)

Recording dates: January 1994.
Recording venue: Watford Town Hall.
Recording engineer: Trygg Tryggvason.
Royal PO, Barry Wordsworth.

The first movement is called in by a drumroll, and aided by woodwinds, as if the royal family walks into parliament. And in some ways it is, for it was commissioned to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to the city of Guildford. It's a more complex work as the first Symphony, and it has a distinct jubilant atmosphere about it, so it rather sounds festive as anything else. Which is fine by me, when the first movement hurriedly floats by, in light but decisive rhythmical steps.  Many moments of wonderment in and around the music, quite complex at times. There is some great scoring for brass, and the work has so many wonderful unifying elements.

And this urgency without being hurried at all is pervading all the movements, which gives a harmonious drive to the musical argument. It's a great symphony and well recorded too.



I consider this my last integral set of Bach's complete Organ music, unless.......

My last integral set, unless Christopher Herrick's Hyperion set is re-released, which I think is doubtful, or finally Ewald Kooimans ...