Butterworth A Shropshire Lad: Rhapsody for orchestra (c.12 mins)
Sir James MacMillan Viola Concerto (c.31 mins)
Elgar Symphony No.2 (c.56 mins)
Lawrence Power viola
Richard Farnes conductor
Elgar’s Second Symphony begins in a great, glowing surge of confidence and pride. Then something happens – the layers peel away, the shadows darken, and we hear a great artist laying bare his damaged soul with an intensity and truth unprecedented in British music. It’s unforgettable: an emotional autobiography on a par with Mahler, and a fitting counterpart to the terrible beauty of Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad, performed to mark the 100th anniversary of its composer’s death on the Somme. Sir James MacMillan’s new Viola Concerto, meanwhile, weds the dusky sound of the viola to orchestral writing of fiery brilliance and dark passion. Richard Farnes conducts its dedicatee, Lawrence Power.
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