GEORGE BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916): The Banks of Green Willow, A Shropshire Lad, 2 English Idylls, Love Blows as the Wind Blows for Baritone and Orchestra, Orchestrations by Kriss Russman (all first recordings): Orchestral Fantasia, Suite for String Quartet, 6 Songs from A Shropshire Lad for Baritone and Orchestra.

Catalogue Number: 07S052

Label: BIS

Reference: 2195

Format: SACD hybrid

Price: $19.98

Description: Well, this is strange: two different completions of Butterworth’s Fantasia which, I’ll bet, none of you knew even existed before I offered Martin Yates’ extensive completion of it on Dutton Epoch three months ago (04R003). But, whereas Yates let his imagination go and produced a 16-minute work from the existing 92 bars, Russmann’s only goes for 8:36. The suite for string quartet, dating from 1910 and imbued with the composer’s characteristic pastoralism and folk-song qualities, was offered here in its original form a year ago this month in a premiere recording (07R039). Another oddity and sign of the times: this recording was crowdfunded! Texts included. James Rutherford (baritone), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Kriss Russman.

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