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Arthur Bliss: Morning Heroes, oratorio; Hymn for Apollo for orchestra / Samuel West, orator; BBC SO & Chorus, Andrew Davis

Album Summary

>Bliss, Sir A. [Composer] : Morning Heroes, symphony for orator, chorus & orchestra, Op. 48, F. 32
>Bliss, Sir A. [Composer] : Hymn to Apollo, for orchestra, Op. 41, F. 116
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Arthur Bliss's Morning Heroes, described by the composer as a "symphony for orator, chorus and orchestra," is a monumental work first performed in 1930 and dedicated to the memory of Bliss's brother who died in battle in 1916 as well as "all other comrades killed in battle." The symphony also served as an attempt by Bliss to come to terms with his own experiences in the war, in which he was injured at the battle of the Somme and gassed at Cambrai; he experienced nightmares for years after the armistice. Here Morning Heroes is paired with the original 1926 version of Bliss's orchestral Hymn to Apollo. Both works are performed excellently by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. The Guardian writes that Sir Andrew Davis "got the mood exactly right, and both the orchestra and chorus did everything that he asked of them... producing a convincingly symphonic shape." The Guardian declares Morning Heroes to be "One fo the finest British choral works of its time," further stating that the work is "not heard as often as it deserves." Sir Andrew Davis has performed a wide range of repertoire, particularly focusing on the music of contemporary British composers, and is currently music director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of both the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Gramophone Magazine, November 2015
This new recording is a revelation for its clarity (notably of the composer's vivid orchestral palette and imaginative choral writing), coherence and sheer emotional intensity.

BBC Music Magazine, December 2015
Sir Andrew Davis's performance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus surpasses Sir Charles Groves's fine 1974 EMI Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra account with urgent tempos, choral singing of full tone and incisive attack, eloquent orchestral playing, and an excellent, open recording.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Fairfield Halls, Croydon (05/16/2015-05/17/2015).



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Works Details

>Bliss, Sir A. [Composer] : Morning Heroes, symphony for orator, chorus & orchestra, Op. 48, F. 32
  • Conductor: Andrew Davis
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Fairfield Halls, Croydon (05/16/2015-05/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 42 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1930

>Bliss, Sir A. [Composer] : Hymn to Apollo, for orchestra, Op. 41, F. 116
  • Conductor: Andrew Davis
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Fairfield Halls, Croydon (05/16/2015-05/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1926