- Performer: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra ; David Lloyd-Jones
- Composer: Stanford Sir Charles Villiers
- Audio CD (May 29 2007)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Ncl
- ASIN: B000NTPALM
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #124,056 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Symphonies Nos. 4 and 7
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Of the British composers to have emerged immediately before Elgar, the most significant were Sir Hubert Parry and Sir Charles Stanford. Central to Stanford' achievement are the seven symphonies covering the greater part of his career. Although they rem
Top Customer Reviews
Stanford's Fourth Symphony is a large 40+ minute four-movement work that is brilliantly scored -- lightly and transparently, making it sound at times more like Mendelssohn than Brahms -- and cogently constructed. It is melodious, even folksy in spots, but has its moments -- especially in the slow movement -- of real depth of feeling. There is no question but what Stanford sounds more German than British, but of course that is not all bad. Yes, it is conservative for its time, but that makes little difference to a listener 120 years after its composition. The Seventh Symphony, Stanford's last, was written in 1911 and it is hard to imagine that it came into the world at almost precisely the same time as Elgar's Second Symphony or, even more, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. But it is a beautiful thing nonetheless. Clearly Stanford had not changed much with the times and thus he wrote this even more Mendelssohnian work with hardly a trace of anything that couldn't have been written fifty years earlier. The first movement has that fairy lightness so associated with Mendelssohn and if nothing else it reminds us of the enormous influence the immigrant German had on the music of the imperial isle. The symphony continues in this genial manner through four movements lasting less than thirty minutes. The only thing remotely English about it is that it does seem pastoral like much English music of its era.
David Lloyd-Jones is a conductor who has proven his abilities over the years with treasurable recordings of music by such early twentieth-century British composers as Delius, Bax, Moeran and Alwyn. The Bournemouth Symphony clearly have the measure of these two symphonies and perform them eloquently and with conviction of their worth.
This recording is for those who like music of the Brahms/Schumann/Mendelssohn ambit and are interested in branching out a bit. They will not be disappointed.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
Received wisdom, in this instance, is gospel. This music – Stanford’s Fourth and Seventh Symphonies - is well-proportioned, refined in orchestration and as boring as bat-poop. It has the emotional brief of Mendelssohn Lite . . . . . . very lite. Even the Seventh Symphony wears its minor keyed tonality as the thinnest of veneers. It’s the triumph of craftsmanship over gnosis. Weak in melodic creation and devoid of inspiration, there’s no return on investment here. Nietzsche says that if you look into the abyss, sooner or later the abyss will return the stare; in this instance, the endgame was a sense of ennui that comes with drinking a cup of the weakest of teas . . . . All power to Naxos, David Lloyd-Jones and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for championing this froth – but if it appeals to you, it’s time for you to unleash the trouser-snake at one of the AKA’s “All Gods are Dead” conferences in Bangkok. As for the Rebel Alliance, well, this disc is not punishment enough in itself. Watch this space as Parry: The Soul's Ransom ( Sinfonia Sacra) / The Lotos Eaters could feature in stratagems . . . . .