ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Morning Heroes for Orator, Chorus and Orchestra, Hymn to Apollo (First Recording of Original Version).
Catalogue Number: 11R005
Reference: CHSA 5159
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Hard to believe it’s taken this long for a major new recording of Bliss’ 1930 memorial to his brother Kennard, killed in action on the Somme, and“ to all other comrades killed in battle”. It was also a means of expiating his own nightmares from the trenches and, after its premiere, Bliss no longer suffered from flashbacks. Now, those of you still clinging to the 40-year-old HMV LP conducted by Charles Groves can compare or replace it with this new version. In eight movements, setting texts by Homer, Whitman, Li Tai Po, Wilfred Owen and Robert Nichols, the work contains the experience of battle from macro- (the effects of war through the ages) and microscopic (the effects on individual human beings) viewpoints in tender, martial, funereal and dramatic music which really should be better known. The ten-minute Hymn to Apollo of 1926, in its original version, is slightly longer and leaner, more raw and more direct and the notes connect it also with Bliss’ war experiences (Apollo as god of healing). Texts included. Samuel West (orator), BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Andrew Davis.