PATRIC STANDFORD (b.1939): First Symphony (The Seasons - An English Year), Cello Concerto, Prelude to a Fantasy (The Naiades).
Catalogue Number: 12O011
Label: British Music Society
Description: Here's a fine new addition to the genre of the British symphony: dating from 1971-72, its opening "Spring" has a gusty, Nordic briskness redolent of Carl Nielsen and "Winter" is equally vigorous - a set of variations on an original chorale theme. In the middle, "Summer" is warm, for strings only and originally conceived as an in memoriam piece for John Barbirolli and "Autumn" is the scherzo. The 1978 concerto has three widely differing movements - a gripping, angsty first with a menacing ostinato underpinning it throughout, a vivid and boisterous second movement in scherzo-like mode and a long finale built around the soprano solo Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit from Brahms' German Requiem. The nine-minute Prelude, originally a movement of Standford's second symphony (1980) has a perpetual-motion feel, kind of like Mendelssohn refracted through Nielsen, in keeping with its title characters: water nymphs. Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones.