Patrick Hadley - The Trees so High
Gerald Finzi - Intimations of Immortality

Thomas Allen, baritone
Ian Partridge, tenor
Guildford Philharmonic Choir
New Philharmonia Orchestra (Hadley)
Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra (Finzi)
Vernon Handley, conductor

Label: Lyrita
Copyright: 2007 Lyrita Recorded Edition, England
Catalogue number: SRCD.238
UPC/EAN: 5020926023827
Format: CD
Analogue / Digital recording: ADD
Number of discs: 1
Total playing time: 77.13
Price: £ 14.99 (+ postage & packing)

Tracks 1 - 4: Recorded at Kingsway Hall, 10 November 1976, Producer: James Walker, Engineer: Colin Moorfoot, John Dunkerley
Tracks 5 - 17: Recorded at Guildford Cathedral, 20 - 22 November 1973, Producer: Michael Woolcock, Engineers: Kenneth Wilkinson

"On offer here are two enduringly fresh glories of the British choral renaissance united by the Guildford Philharmonic Choir and Vernon Handley. Each work eschews the cloying fustian of Victoriana. The applied sensibility of the two composers is very much of the twentieth century. The two works appear together for the first time and make a substantial and frankly irresistible offering ... Matchless versions of major works by Hadley and Finzi. An outstanding achievement by composers, performers and technicians ..." Rob Barnett, Click here to read the full review

"... it is a ravishing work, one tinged of course with tragedy and loss - one would have thought Hadley would have preferred a female soloist but he was insistent on the point that it must be a baritone ... Both these recordings are foundation stones of a British collection. Don’t waste a second worrying about duplication – what’s £13.50 against eternity?" Jonathan Woolf, Click here to read the full review

"... I believe that Lyrita wins by a long chalk. Perhaps it is simply the fact that it is the version I first came to know? However it may be I find that Ian Partridge’s singing totally and utterly epitomises this work for me. This is the stuff of which heaven is made ..." John France, Click here to read the full review

"The works pair uncommonly well, especially in the way Finzi’s opening follows Hadley’s conclusion so naturally that the one might almost be a commentary on the other ... The recordings date from 1978 (Hadley) and 1975 (Finzi). Both were warmly received on first issue and continue to impress as fine performances. They provide timely reminders that in Vernon Handley we had one of the best conductors of British music in this period ..." John Steane, Click here to read the full review

"Here’s a sensible and generous re-coupling of two of Vernon Handley’s most valuable large-scale projects for Lyrita. Both are conducted with the utmost perception, the Finzi acting as a welcome reminder of the high standards attained by the Guildford Philharmonic under its founder and long-time chief ... I’m happy to be able to report that Lyrita’s mid-1970s tapes have retained their lustre in this tasteful re-mastering by Simon Gibson. Beautifully presented (as on the original LPs, the annotations are by William Mann and Diana McVeagh), this is a disc not to be missed ..." Andrew Achenbach, Click here to read the full review

The Trees so High, Symphonic Ballad in A minor Patrick Hadley 34.03
1 1. Adagio 10.58
2 2. Andante tranquillo 4.39
3 3. Vivace 5.03
4 4. Adagio – "The Trees so High" 13.23
Intimations of Immortality, Ode for tenor solo, chorus and orchestra Gerald Finzi 43.04
5 1. Prelude 5.15
6 2. Stanza I: There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream 3.35
7 3. Stanza II: The Rainbow comes and goes 2.34
8 4. Stanza III: Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song 4.36
9 5. Stanza IV: Ye blessèd Creatures, I have heard the call 0.59
10 6. - Oh evil day! 2.19
11 7. - But there’s a Tree, of many, one 2.22
12 8. Stanza V: Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting 3.37
13 9. Stanza VI: Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own 1.37
14 10. Stanza IX: O joy! that in our embers ... 3.58
15 11. - But for those first affections 4.02
16 12. Stanza X: Then sing, ye Birds sing, sing a joyous song! 3.30
17 13. Stanza XI: And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves 4.40