KENNETH LEIGHTON (1929-1988): Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - Symphony No. 1, Op. 42, Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 57 "Concerto estivo".
Catalogue Number: 08M009
Description: First recordings of both works: the symphony (preceded by three no-longer-extant earlier attempts) dates from 1963-64 and is a perfect outlet for the anxiety of the times (remember fear of nuclear war? the building of the Berlin Wall? the possibilities of a Soviet onslaught through central Europe? the social irruptions of lower-class aspirations?). This 35-minute work has two slow movements, fraught with emotion from elegiac lyricism to desperate protest to a desolate resignation, with a rebellious and frantic scherzo between them. Five years later, all is quite different; the "Summer Concerto" is melodic, lyrical, rich and warm in personality (and written for a pianist as experienced and gifted as the composer) as it expresses the warmth and beauty of the summer in Oxford in which Leighton composed it - his first experience of the warmer climes of southern England after twelve years in Edinburgh. Howard Shelley (piano), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Martyn Brabbins.