MAURICE BLOWER (1894-1982): Symphony in C, DOROTHY HOWELL (1898-1982): Lamia, JOSEPH HOLBROOKE (1878-1958): Variations on "The Girl I Left Behind".
Catalogue Number: 05K001
Label: Cameo Classics
Description: A delicious disc of discoveries of the type you'd expect to find on Chandos, Hyperion or Dutton Epoch! A controller of BBC Radio 3 considered Howell the finest woman composer of her era; the premiere of her 15-minute tone-poem in 1919 was such a success that Sir Henry Wood had to reshuffle a program a few days later to play it again. Delicate and diaphanous of orchestration, it immediately calls to mind Daphnis et Chloë but Cyril Scott comes to mind also. Blower's 35-minute symphony, written in 1939, was only retrieved from his papers in 2002 and his son and conductor Peter Craddock spent two years off-and-on producing a score and parts for performance. The first movement has some of the muscular and brazen quality of early Bax while you'll hear echoes of Elgar, Debussy, the Russian Nationalists and a bit of Vaughan Williamsish English folk-song but the four movements hang together well and are certainly deserving of a place in the history of the 20th century English symphony. Holbrooke's 13-minute is a glittering orchestral delight of the sort you'd expect to hear at the Last Night of the Proms but, like much of this composer's work, is now rather neglected (but there is a Holbrooke disc coming from cpo in a couple of months!). Karelia Philharmonic Orchestra; Marius Stravinsky.