Wednesday, November 5, 2014

John Ireland - The Forgotten Rite - Satyricon - Scherzo & Cortége - Tritons - The Overlanders Suite - LSO, Richard Hickox

Here's an earlier (1991) Chandos disc of Ireland's music. The main attraction for me has always been the lovely and stirring Orchestral prelude "The Forgotten Rite". It is somewhat Baxian, although Frank Bridge and early Vaughan Williams might spring to mind as well.

The "Scherzo & Cortége" is from the Incidental music for "Julius Caesar",  and was arranged by Geoffrey Bush. It is a brief and ceremonial work, and in truth pleasant but rather lightweight. 

"Tritons" is an early, expertly constructed work and also somewhat Baxian (Arnold Bax) in nature.

"The Forgotten Rite" is undoubted mastery, and the overall effect is simply sumptuous. This is extraordinarily magical and mysterious music imo; gentle, dreamy and enigmatically beautiful. An object lesson in transparent scoring technique.

The Overture "Satyricon" is based on the novel by Petronius. It is joyous and capricious music that is full of life and celebration.

"The Overlanders Suite" is in five movements and was compiled by Sir Charles Mackerras from Ireland’s incidental music for the 1947 film, The Overlanders. This was Ireland's sole foray into film music, and is good fun. "Scorched Earth" has a Rawsthorne-like lyrical acidity, recalling the younger composer’s music for "The Cruel Sea".

There will be more Ireland to come in the near future (especially from Lyrita, Dutton, Chandos and Naxos) when I can locate my Ireland stash. Enjoy

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