Notes & Reviews:
This recording presents some of Gunning's music for the concert hall: Symphonies Nos 3 and 4 together with his Oboe Concerto. He composed the Oboe Concerto as a birthday present for his daughter, Verity, who is the soloist in this recording. The two symphonies are very different in mood. The Third is an expression of anxiety resulting in chaos, the colourful musical landscape inspired by the Welsh countryside. Symphony No. 4 is more direct and tonal, conveying a sense of triumph over adversity. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by the composer.
Christopher Gunning - Symphony No. 3
Concerto for Oboe and String Orchestra
Symphony No. 4
Verity Gunning (Oboe)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
The piquant Concerto for oboe and strings, for me, takes the palm. Light on its feet, with some lovely moments for individual players in the first movement, it acquires a more ruminative, melancholy feel in the second where the soloist appears to be lost in her own thoughts. The quasi moto perpetuo finale brings out the youthful and spirited character of its dedicatee. This is a charming composition, winningly played.
This CD gives us his earnest Third Symphony, composed in the shadow of a grave illness, and the more impulsive Fourth, written after he'd made a full recovery. In between these comes his Oboe Concerto, which is beautifully played by his daughter Verity.
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