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BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH CONCERTOS
FROM THE NINETEENTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT


A Discography Of CDs And LPs
Prepared by Michael Herman

 

© 2007-16 Michael Herman


INTRODUCTION

One of the most popular types of classical orchestral piece is the concerto. It is a rare concert indeed that does not feature one performed by a noted or upcoming pianist, violinist, cellist or other soloist demonstrating great prowess and/or sensitivity on his or her chosen instrument. In the vast majority of instances, the concerto being performed comes from a select group of works known as the "standard repertoire" that soloists, conductors and audiences know well and are invariably crowd pleasers. There is no doubt that these works represent the cream of the concerto repertoire. However, this does not mean that nothing else worthwhile exists among the voluminous output of the past two centuries that would both illuminate the skills of performers and gratify the ears and souls of the listeners. With one notable exception the international standard concerto repertoire is devoid of representation by British and Commonwealth composers. The exception is Elgar’s Cello Concerto and even in this instance one cannot compare its frequency of performance with works by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, etc. The concertos of Walton and Britten make occasional appearances as well but rarely away from their native shores. However, since the onset of the nineteenth century concertos have been produced and performed in large quantities in the British Isles and in Britain’s overseas offshoots even if most music lovers are hardly aware of the existence of these works. Fortunately, for the curious, the world of the concert hall and world of recordings are quite divergent. It is the purpose of this work to document the huge number of recordings of concertos by British and Commonwealth composers that have been issued on LPs and CDs since these media have existed beginning in the middle of the twentieth century and to serve as a reference work for further study by others. Another tangential purpose is to survey the production of concertos in the stated time frame and to show the continuity between the generations of composers as a result of their education by their predecessors.

The composers included in this discography are those born in or who came to live in the United Kingdom, The Republic of Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Geography is the only determining factor for inclusion as there is no attempt here to argue for the existence of any so-called "British" concerto style that would cover such a vast range of composers.

A chronological structure has been used in order to show the progression of concertos from the early nineteenth century up to our own time. This chronology is based on the birth year of the composer rather than the year a concerto was written. A composer index is placed first so the reader can immediately go to any particular composer.

The entry for each composer consists of two sections. First there is a compact biographical paragraph that notes some essential information such as place of birth, higher musical education (including schools and prominent teachers), subsequent musical careers in addition to composing and selective lists of other works for orchestra. Compositional styles are not discussed in these paragraphs and readers are referred to the bibliography where various reference books that cover this subject are listed.

The second part of each composer entry consists of lists of his or her concertos that have been recorded and the various recordings of each work. A concerto is very broadly defined for the purposes of this book to include any work that has the word "concerto," "concertino" or "concertante" in its title whether or not a soloist is involved. Also included is any work in which an instrumental soloist is involved whatever its title may be. For every concerto that has them, the opus number, key signature and title are noted and the year of composition (when known) is stated for all. The entries of the concertos that have had multiple recordings are listed alphabetically by soloist’s name. Each listing of a recording consists of the following components (again, if known): (1) Performers – soloist(s), conductor, orchestra), (2) Other works on the recording. (3) Label and catalogue number and year of issue and (4) If the recording is a reissue, the original LP or CD release and its year of issue.

The author has endeavored to list every recording of every concerto written by a British or Commonwealth composer that has been published since the advent of the long-playing record in 1948. However, the following points should be kept in mind. The research was limited to sources in the English-speaking world. There has been no attempt to delve into the record catalogues of France, Germany or any other country that may have possibly produced an original recording of one of the covered concertos unless it was widely distributed in the UK or USA. Also, there has been no attempt to list every reissue of every recording. Some recordings, especially those made by the so-called "major labels," have been reissued so often, first on records then on compact discs, that the author has tried to confine the listings basically to only the most current and the original releases of each recording. Likewise, there has been no attempt to indicate whether recordings are mono or stereo (or any other audio system) or to comment about availability. Furthermore, as the focus of this book is British, the catalogue numbers identify British releases in the vast majority of instances. Finally, there is a strong certainty on the author’s part that a number of recordings have been missed. With the multiple thousands of recordings that have been issued over the past sixty years and the evanescence of so many of them one cannot but help in reaching this conclusion.

Nearly all of the recordings listed in this book are commercial issues that anyone could purchase if they happened to be around at the right time. However, also included here are a number of non-commercial or private LPs that were issued by governmental broadcasting organizations or music publishers that were not available to the general public. However, these types of recordings can be found in libraries and do turn up for sale at times so their existence ought to be documented. In addition there are a number of unauthorized or "pirate" LPs and CDs found in these pages. They were widely distributed and found their way into many collections and were in many instances the only available recording of a particular work. These recordings were issued with either the actual or pseudonymous names of performers. The symbol ▼ is used here to designate this type of recording.

*****

The term "concerto" was first used for a musical piece in the 17th century and was initially used to describe vocal music with instrumental accompaniment. Late in that century the concerto grosso came into being and this was an orchestral work in which a small group of instruments was contrasted with the larger ensemble. This would eventually develop into the solo concerto in the 18th century as a result of the work of composers such as Vivaldi and J.S. Bach. However, it is with Mozart that the classical concerto came into being and his works established the standard that would be adhered to by the vast majority of concerto-writers who succeeded him. The concerto came to the British Isles, as did most other classical forms, in the hands of foreign composers who came to work in England. George Frederick Handel composed numerous concerti grossi and solo concertos and he was followed by other distinguished Continental musicians including Carl Friedrich Abel and Johann Christian Bach. The solo concerto was well established by the beginning of the 19th century and many British composers began writing them especially for the piano. In the 20th century the concerto grosso re-emerged and it was joined by the concerto for orchestra as a very popular form.

*****

It should be very clear from the pages that follow that the concerto as written by British and Commonwealth composers has been well documented on recordings. This is especially true for composers who lived or live in the United Kingdom itself. Over the years and particularly since the advent of the compact disc more and more previously unrecorded symphonies have become available. Many composers whose names and works used to exist only in reference books and footnotes are now being heard after many years of dormancy. The British record industry deserves special commendation for this situation as it has continually kept the collector well supplied with numerous novelties to explore. These pioneering recording efforts have been aided by subsidies from governmental agencies, regional arts councils, composers' trusts and societies and private companies. In the early LP era the major labels EMI and Decca led the way with their championship of Elgar and Vaughan Williams and some forays into more unknown regions. Over the last three decades, however, these types of projects have increasingly found their homes on independent British labels such as Lyrita, Chandos, Hyperion, NMC, Dutton Vocalion, Toccata Classics and ASV. Hong Kong based Naxos, now the world's biggest producer of classical CDs, has also become a major source for original recordings of unusual British repertoire on both its Marco Polo and bargain-priced Naxos labels. © Michael Herman October 2007

***** n.b. Any recording that is not designated as an LP is a CD.

As this work will be updated from time to time, the author invites anyone with corrections or information about other recordings that may have been overlooked to contact him at: mherman@mindspring.com

*****

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank the following people for their help in the preparation of this resource: Rob Barnett and Len Mullenger at MusicWeb International, Linda Kirkpatrick at the Australian Music Centre, Christopher Ball, Hubert Culot, David F. Golightly, Allan Ho, Callum Kenmuir, Timothy Reynish and Ian Scott.

ALPHABETICAL COMPOSER INDEX
(Entries are arranged by composer’s birth date)

Abbott, Clifford
Adaskin, Murray
Addinsell, Richard
Addison, John
Adès, Thomas
Albert, Eugène d’
Alwyn, William
Anderson, Julian
Arnell, Richard
Arnold, Malcolm
Ashmore, Lawrence
Austin, Frederic
Bache, Francis Edward
Bailey, Judith
Bainbridge, Simon
Bainton, Edgar
Baker, Michael Conway
Ball, Christopher
Banks, Don
Bantock, Granville
Bate, Stanley
Bath, Hubert
Bax, Arnold
Beamish, Sally
Beck, David
Bedford, David
Bell, William Henry
Benedict, Julius
Benjamin, Arthur
Bennett, Richard Rodney
Bennett, William Sterndale
Berkeley, Lennox
Berkeley, Michael
Binge, Ronald
Birtwistle, Harrison
Blackburn, Maurice
Blake, Christopher
Blake, David
Blake, Howard
Blezard, William
Bliss, Arthur
Blower, Maurice
Boughton, Rutland
Bowen, York
Boydell, Brian
Bracanin, Philip
Brady, Tim
Brian, Havergal
Bridge, Frank
Britten, Benjamin
Brott, Alexander
Brumby, Colin
Bryars, Gavin
Buckley, John
Bullard, Alan
Burgon, Geoffrey
Burrell, Diana
Busch, William
Bush, Alan
Bush, Geoffrey
Butterley, Nigel
Butterworth, Arthur
Camilleri, Charles
Carmichael, John
Carr, Edwin
Carr, Paul
Carwithen, Doreen
Casken, John
Chagrin, Francis
Champagne, Claude
Chisholm, Erik
Clarke, Rebecca
Cliffe, Frederic
Coates, Douglas
Coates, Eric
Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel
Conyngham, Barry
Cooke, Arnold
Cooper, Walter Thomas Gaze
Corcoran, Frank
Corp, Ronald
Coulthard, Jean
Cowen, Frederic Hymen

Cowie, Edward
Cramer, Johann Baptist
Creith, Guirne
Creswell, Lyell
Crosse, Gordon
Crotch, William
Cruft, Adrian
Dale, Benjamin
Darnton, Christian
Davies, Peter Maxwell
Davies, Victor
Davis, Oliver
Delius, Frederick
Dickinson, Peter
Docker, Robert
Dodgson, Stephen
Dompierre, François
Dring, Madeline
Dyson, George
Easton, Michael
Eckhardt-Grammaté, Sophie-Carmen
Edwards, Ross
Elgar, Edward
Ellis, David
Erlanger, Frédéric d'
Evans, Lindley

Farnon, Robert
Farquhar, David
Farrar, Ernest
Ferguson, Howard
Fiala, George
Field, John
Finzi, Gerald
Fogg, Eric
Forsyth, Cecil
Forsyth, Malcolm
Foster, Grant
Foulds, John
Frankel, Benjamin
Fribbins, Peter
Fricker, Peter Racine
Frost, Stephen
Gál, Hans
Gardner, John
Gerhard, Roberto
Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong
Gipps, Ruth
Glanville-Hicks, Peggy
Goehr, Alexander
Goldschmidt, Berthold
Golightly, David F.
Golland, John
Goodman, Isador
Goossens, Eugene
Goss, Stephen
Gowers, Patrick
Gray, Steve
Gregson, Edward
Grimes, Helen
Gross, Eric
Gunning, Christopher
Hamilton, Iain
Hanson, Raymond
Harper, Edward
Harris, Ross
Harrison, Julius
Hart, Fritz
Harty, Hamilton
Harvey, Jonathan
Harvey, Richard
Hayes, Morgan
Headington, Christopher
Healey, Derek
Heath, David C.
Hedges, Anthony
Hely-Hutchinson, Victor

Hétu, Jacques
Hewitt-Jones, Tony
Hill, Alfred
Hoddinott, Alun
Holbrooke, Joseph
Holland, Theodore
Holloway, Robin
Holst, Gustav
Hope, Peter
Hopkins, Antony
Horovitz, Joseph
Hough, Stephen
Howells, Herbert
Hurd, Michael
Hurlstone, William
Hurst, Michael
Hutchens, Frank
Hyde, Miriam
Ireland, John
Jackson, Francis
Jacob, Gordon
Jenkins, Karl
Jeffreys, John
Josephs, Wilfred
Joubert, John
Kats-Chernin, Elena
Keal, Minna
Kelly, Frederick S.
Kenmuir, Callum
Kerry, Gordon
Klatzow, Peter
Knussen, Oliver
Koehne, Graeme
Lambert, Constant
Lane, Philip
Langford, Gordon
LeFanu, Nicola
Leigh, Walter
Leighton, Kenneth
Litolff, Henry Charles
Lloyd, George
Lovelock, William
Lucas, Leighton
Lutyens, Elizabeth
Lyon, David
MacDonald, Andrew
Macfarren, Walter
Mackenzie, Alexander
MacMillan, James
Maconchy, Elizabeth
Manduell, John
Martin, Philip
Mathias, William
Mathieu, André
Matthews, Colin
Matthews, David
Matton, Roger
Maw, Nicholas

McCabe, John
McCauley, William
McDowell, Ceclia
McEwen, John Blackwood
McPhee, Colin
Merrick, Frank
Milford, Robin
Mills, Richard
Moeran, Ernest John
Montgomery, Bruce
Moon, Chloe
Morawetz, Oskar
Morgan, David R.
Muldowney, Dominic
Murrill, Herbert
Musgrave, Thea
Nyman, Michael
Ogdon, John
Osborne, Nigel
Panufnik, Andrzej
Papineau-Couture, Jean
Parish-Alvars, Elias
Parrott, Ian
Parry, Hubert
Patterson, Paul
Paul, Alan
Pehkonen, Elis
Penberthy, James
Pentland, Barbara
Phillips, Montague
Pickard, John
Pitfield, Thomas
Pritchard, Deborah
Proctor-Gregg, Humphrey
Puw, Guto Pryderi
Rainier, Priaulx
Rajna, Thomas
Rawsthorne, Alan
Reizenstein, Franz
Ridout, Alan
Ritchie, Anthony
Ritchie, John
Rootham, Cyril
Rowley, Alex
Rubbra, Edmund
Rutter, John
Sainsbury, Lionel
Sawyers, Philip
Saxton, Robert
Schultz, Andrew
Schurmann, Gerard
Scott, Cyril
Sculthorpe, Peter
Searle, Humphrey
Seiber, Mátyás
Sherwood, Percy
Simpson, Robert
Sitsky, Larry
Smalley, Roger
Smyth, Ethel
Somers, Harry
Somervell, Arthur
Spratley, Philip
Standford, Patric
Stanford, Charles Villiers
Stanhope, Paul
Stephenson, Allan
Steptoe, Roger
Stevens, Bernard
Stevens, James
Stevenson, Ronald
Sullivan, Arthur
Sutherland, Gavin
Sutherland, Margaret
Taylor, Matthew
Tippett, Michael
Torch, Sidney
Tovey, Donald Francis
Tunley, David
Turnage. Mark-Anthony
Vaughan Williams, Ralph
Veale, John
Vine, Carl
Vinter, Gilbert
Wallen, Errolyn
Walthew, Richard
Walton, William
Warner, Harry
Watkins, Michael Blake
Weinzweig, John
Weir, Judith
Wellesz, Egon
Werder, Felix
Westlake, Nigel
Whettam, Graham
Whitlock, Percy
Wigglesworth, Ryan
Wilby, Philip
Willan, Healy
Williams, Charles
Williams, Grace
Williamson, Malcolm
Wilson, James
Wilson, Thomas
Wood, Haydn
Wood, Hugh
Woolfenden, Guy
Wright, Christopher

 

SOURCES OF INFORMATION
(1) BOOKS

Callaway, Frank and David Tunley (eds). Australian Composition in the Twentieth Century. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Catalogue of Canadian Music for Orchestra. Toronto: Canadian Music Centre, 1976.

Clough, Francis F. and C.J. Cuming. The World’s Encyclopedia of Recorded Music (including Supplements) in 3 vols. London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1952-57.

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed., in 29 vols., edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. New York: Grove, 2001.

Hill, Ralph (ed.) The Concerto. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1952.

Hinson, Maurice. Music for Piano and Orchestra. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981.

Howes, Frank. The English Musical Renaissance. New York: Stein and Day, 1966.

Hughes, Meiron and Robert Stradling. The English Musical Renaisance 1840-1940: Constructing a National Music, 2nd edition. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001.

Kallmann, Helmut, Gilles Potvin and Kenneth Winters (eds). Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981.

Leach, Gerald. British Composer Profiles: A biographical dictionary and chronology of past British composers 1800-1989, 2nd edition. Gerrards Cross, England: British Music Society, 1989.

Pirie, Peter J. The English Musical Renaissance: Twentieth century English composers & their works. New York: St Martin’s Press, 1978.

Poulton, Alan J. A Label Discography of Long-Playing Records, 3 vols. Blandford, England: The Oakwood Press, 1975.

Sadie, Julie Anne and Rhian Samuel (eds). The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1995.

Schaarwächter, Jürgen. Die britische Sinfonie 1914-1945. Cologne-Rheinkassel, Germany: Verlag Dohr, 1995.

Slonimsky, Nicolas. Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8th edition. New York: Schirmer Books, 1992.

Slonimsky, Nicolas. Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (edited by Laura Kuhn). New York: Schirmer Books, 1997.

Thompson, Oscar (ed). The International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians, updated 11th edition. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1985.

(2) RECORD CATALOGUES

Gramophone Classical Record Catalogue (retitled: Gramophone Classical Catalogue) (1953-1996)

Gramophone Compact Disc Catalogue (1983-1990)

Schwann Long Playing Record Catalog (retitled: Schwann 1 – Record and Tape Guide and Schwann Opus) (1949-2001)

 
(3) WEBSITES

Governmental and Academic Sites

Australian Music Centre http://www.amcoz.com.au/

Canadian Music Centre http://www.musiccentre.ca/home.cfm

Centre for New Zealand Music http://www.sounz.org.nz/index.php

Contemporary Music Centre Ireland http://www.cmc.ie/composers/index.cfm

Dictionary of African Composers http://sacomposers.up.ac.za

Music Australia http://musicaustralia.org/apps/MA

Scottish Music Centre http://www.scottishmusiccentre.com/

Welsh Music Information Centre http://www.wmic.org/

 

Commercial Sites

Arkiv Music http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/main.jsp

Chandos Records http://www.chandos.net/

Crotchet http://www.crotchet.co.uk/

Dutton Vocalion Records http://www.duttonvocalion.com/

EMI/Virgin Classics http://www.emiclassics.com/

Gramophone http://www.gramophone.co.uk/

Hyperion Records http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/

Lyrita Recorded Edition http://www.lyrita.co.uk/

MDT http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/pages/home/default.asp

MusicWeb International http://www.musicweb-international.com/

Naxos Records http://www.naxos.com/

 

COMPOSER Sites

Many contemporary composers have their own websites and others can be found on the websites of their publishers. There are also websites for earlier composers that are maintained by societies that promote their music. These can be found by typing the composer’s name into any search engine.

Michael Herman 2016

 

 



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