One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider


Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano)

CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation

Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it

Jonathan Dove

Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music

Organ Fireworks

Highly Entertaining

A triumphant performance

Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard

A most joy-inducing recording

A winning partnership

A Lohengrin to treasure.



(Including Orchestral Poems, Suites, Serenades,
Variations, Rhapsodies, Concerto Overtures etc)

Written by Composers Born Between 1800 & 1910

A Discography Of CDs And LPs
Prepared by Michael Herman

© 2008-17 Michael Herman

Composer index

Index of all national discographies

The predecessors to the discography at hand were written in 2007 and had the titles British and Commonwealth Symphonies (from the 19th Century to the Present) and British and Commonwealth Concertos (from the 19th Century to the Present). The current work was originally meant to fill in what its two predecedsors had omitted namely the remaining orchestral music that did not fit in those two main categories. However, as often happens in the writing of a book, initial plans become altered so this discography did not end up paralleling the other two in several important respects. First of all, as it became quite apparent that the material that needed to be documented was far more voluminous than originally thought, it was necessary to change the parameters for inclusion. Thus in this work the composers were limited to those born between the years 1800 and 1910 in most cases in the British Isles with the exceptions of several born in Australia (Kelly, Grainger and Benjamin) who became part of British musical life. It is hoped that both the chronological and geographical boundaries can be extended at a future date.

As the title implies the contents of this discography consists of recordings of British orchestral music that have appeared on LPs and CDs. The definition of "orchestral music" used herein is quite broad and includes works written for the concert hall as well as for the theater such as overtures and other orchestral excerpts from operas, ballets and ballet suites, incidental music and film scores. Music written for band is included selectively and is confined to a number of composers whose works for military and/or brass band are important works in those composers catalogues and constitute almost a standard repertoire in their particular medium. A similar selectivity has been used for the inclusion of composers of "light" classical music as those selected are as representative of British orchestral music as any of their more "serious" counterparts.

As in the previous discographies in this series, no attempt has been made to list every release of every recording of each work. There have just been too many reissues, especially from the major labels, to make this feasible for many recordings. Instead what is listed is the most recent release and the earliest release (if any on LP or CD) of that particular recording. In general, multidisc compendium releases are omitted unless they contain the sole modern release of a performance. Due to the material covered, the emphasis is usually on British releases except when there has been no traceable U.K. release or if a recording was initially released many years earlier only in the U.S. Finally, most incomplete recordings of a work have been omitted such as only one Variation from Elgar’s "Enigma Variations" or one of his "Pomp and Circumstance" Marches or one planet from Holst’s "The Planets." However, exceptions are made when an excerpt has taken on a life of its own and the complete work is rarely or never recorded such as the Minuet from Elgar’s "Beau Brummel" incidental music.

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) and subsequent musical careers in addition to composing. 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 orchestral works (other than symphonies and concertos) that have been recorded and the various recordings of each work. The title of the work is followed by a year that indicates when the work was either composed, published or first performed as well as an opus number if it has one. The recordings are then listed alphabetically by the conductor's name. Each listing of a recording consists of the following components (if known): (1) Performers (in this order if all are involved - conductor, soloists, choral group, 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. Please note that the performers listed are for the entry work and not necessarily for the works that it is coupled with. Also, in most instances when an entry work is included in a collection of unrelated (i.e., non-British) music the list of couplings is not given but replaced by the title of the collection. Finally, there is some overlap among the discographies as the author felt that some works belonged in more than one category and, ultimately, the author hopes to combine all three discographies into one work.


Music has been written for orchestral groups in Britain for several centuries. However, this work concentrates on the music written for the so-called "modern orchestra" that took shape in the nineteenth century. Starting in the previous century as musicians from the Continent imported a new symphonic tradition and the instrumental practices that accompanied it, orchestral concerts began to blossom in the British Isles and native composers began to supply works for these events. In addition, the establishment of conservatories such as the Royal Academy of Music would assure a steady supply of new composers and performers to greatly strengthen and expand this development.

For the greater part of the nineteenth century, the orchestral works of British composers were essentially derivative of German models with Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms being the most obvious paradigms. National references began to appear in the titles of a number of works in the latter part of the century such as Sullivan’s "Irish" Symphony, Parry’s "Cambridge" and "English" Symphonies, Stanford’s "Irish" Symphony and Mackenzie’s "Scottish" Piano Concerto but the works were stylistically not very different from their Continental counterparts. However these very composers ushered in the "English Musical Renaissance" and their students and successors, strongly influenced by the folk song movement, studies of the music of the Tudor Age, Russian romanticism as well as an infusion of impressionism from across the English Channel would produce orchestral music in the early years of the twentieth century that would have an unmistakeable British accent.


I have received a lot of help in preparing this discography. First of all, Rob Barnett of MusicWeb International has been a constant source and conduit of information as well as helping eliminate a lot of errors by proofreading the entire work. I am very grateful to him as well as to Len Mullenger who has kindly hosted and prepared my Discographies for the MusicWeb International website and has always been amenable to my frequent updates of the material. I was also very lucky to come into contact with John Knowles whose expertise on the recordings of Sir Edward Elgar has greatly enhanced my section on that composer. Finally, the following people have given me some important information that I could not find on my own and I just want to express my sincere gratitude: Chris Bennett of The Elgar Birthplace Museum, Paul Brooks of the Barbirolli Society, Sue Creasey of Pavilion Records Ltd., John France, Gilles Gouset, Rod Hamilton at The British Library Sound Archives, David Russell Hulme, Lyndon Jenkins, Stephen Lloyd, Walter Simmons and Douglas Smith.


The composers included in this discography are covered chronologically by the composers’ year of birth in order to show a progression of influences from one generation to the next. Their names are listed alphabetically in the following index and to go directly to a specific composer just click on their names.

Please note that all recordings listed are CDs unless specifically designated as LPs (and in a few very rare instances EPs).

Finally, as this resource is published online it can always be a work in progress as the author has the ability to amend the work when necessary with very little difficulty. A work of this type is bound to contain errors and omissions as so much material has been gathered from so many diverse sources. Therefore, I ask anyone who reads this book and finds such errors or omissions to please let me know at the email address below. I would be very grateful indeed.




Bird, John. Percy Grainger. London: Faber & Faber, 1976.

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

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.

Hindmarsh, Paul. Frank Bridge: A Thematic Catalogue. London: Faber & Faber, 1984.

Holst, Imogen. A Thematic Catalogue of Gustav Holst’s Music. London: Faber Music Ltd., 1974.

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.

Kennedy, Michael. The Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams. London: Oxford University Press, 1964.

Knowles, John. Elgar’s Interpreters on Record: A Discography. London: Thames Publishing, 1985.

Layton, Robert (ed.). A Guide to the Symphony. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1995.

Leach, Gerald. British Composer Profiles: A biographical
dictionary and chronology of past British composers 1800-1989,

2nd edition. Gerrards Cross, England: British Music Society,

Pirie, Peter J. The English Musical Renaissance: Twentieth
century English composers and 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 and Co,

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

Simpson, Robert. The Symphony, 2 vols. New York: Drake
Publishers, 1972.

Slonimsky, Nicolas. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of
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 and
Co., 1985.



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)




Australian Music Centre

British Library Sound Archive

British Music Information Service

Canadian Music Centre

Contemporary Music Centre Ireland

Library and Archives Canada

Music Australia

New York Public Library Research Catalog

Scottish Music Centre

Welsh Music Information Centre



Amazon (UK)

Arkiv Music

Chandos Records


Dutton Vocalion Records

EMI/Virgin Classics


Hyperion Records

Lyrita Recorded Edition


MusicWeb International

Naxos Records



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 and conductors that are maintained by societies that promote their music and recordings. These can be found by typing the composer's name into any search engine.


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical
Alpha Classics
a new advertiser


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sheva Contemporary
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger