A friend has just reminded me about Street Corner, Alan Rawsthorne’s bustling piece (1944) that seems to have fallen by the wayside, like so many overtures and short pieces, sadly. My friend sent me a link to Constantin Silvestri conducting it (beginning a 1968 Bournemouth concert), but for all the discipline of the playing it is way too fast. I then found – believe it or not – a performance by the Federal Police Orchestra of Argentina, but it proved far too sluggish (and badly recorded), but well-done amigos for even trying. John Pritchard’s Lyrita version is a little sketchy, and while the composer’s own conducting is perfectly paced (Pro Arte Orchestra), so too is Constant Lambert’s with the superior 1946 Philharmonia Orchestra, and it’s his recording that is my library choice.
I invite (and have dropped a line to) Martyn Brabbins and Leonard Slatkin, who do such much for British music, to slip Street Corner into a concert, and the equally enthusiastic Roger Wright to give this gem an Aldeburgh outing. Then Symphony No.3, music for The Cruel Sea (Jack Hawkins), and the two Piano Concertos. A Rawsthorne Revival?
Postscript, it would be wrong of me to overlook such as Paul Daniel, Andrew Davis, Mark Elder, and John Wilson.
Well done, Colin, for trying. I know John would approve.
A lovely reminder Col. Thanks. Are you in touch with Andrew Knowles, still, I think , a big wig in the Rawsthorne Society?
With the welcome return of tonal, melodic music in our lives we need Alan and his like minded contemporaries to be welcomed back into our lives.
I don’t have contact with Mr Knowles, but have just found his e-address…
In my early pre-LP collection from the 50’s, I virtually wore out the 78s of Lambert’s Street Corner and Rawsthorne’s Symphonic Studies – this last piece is still, I think, his orchestral masterpiece. Is there anyone in the BBC’s music departments who can even spell the composer’s name today?
Ah yes, the Symphonic Studies (1938); here in Constant Lambert’s 1946 Philharmonia recording:
And while I’m here, Rawsthorne’s Symphony No.3 (1964), as recorded by David Lloyd-Jones in Bournemouth for Naxos: