Cover of Lyrita LP SRCS.48, released February 1971
The music of Sir Hubert (1848-1918) and Sir Adrian’s conducting of it were calling me – so look no further than a Lyrita compact disc, SRCD.220.
Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy is a powerful piece, Symphonic Variations a greater one – Boult would re-record the latter for HMV when it came to his farewell to the studio, a Parry vinyl with the LPO – yet the pearls for me are the two works for strings. An English Suite, the rustic vitality of the first and final movements (‘Prelude’ and the playful ‘Frolic’) bringing joy to the day, book-ending vignettes of charm and beauty, the latter quality exemplified by a touching ‘Air’. Lady Radnor’s Suite is also full of good things.
The recorded sound is excellent, but as so often with Lyrita, whether LP or CD, information is scant. Research reveals the venue to be Walthamstow Assembly Hall, the date March 1970, the producer was Michael Woolcock, with the engineering shared between Kenneth Wilkinson and Tryggvi Tryggvason, all playing their part in documenting Sir Adrian’s insightful and commanding conducting and the LSO’s superb response.
The CD adds the dignified ‘Bridal March’ from Parry’s music for Aristophanes’s play The Birds, which Sir Adrian recorded with the LPO for a Lyrita LP of Marches.