Alan Rawsthorne - Piano Concertos 1 & 2 • Symphonic Studies • Overture 'Street Corner'

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir John Pritchard, conductor
Malcolm Binns, piano
London Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Braithwaite, conductor

Label: Lyrita
Copyright: 2007 Lyrita Recorded Edition, England
Catalogue number: SRCD.255
UPC/EAN: 5020926025524
Format: CD
Analogue / Digital recording: ADD
Number of discs: 1
Total playing time: 77.26
Price: £ 14.99 (+ postage & packing)

Track 1 - 6: Recorded at Kingsway Hall, 11 January 1976, Producer: James Walker, Engineer: Kenneth Wilkinson
Track 7: Recorded at Kingsway Hall, 25 March 1975, Producer: Richard Beswick, Engineers: Philip Wade, John Pellowe
Tracks 8 - 14: Recorded at Kingsway Hall, 23, 24 August 1976, Producer: Richard Beswick, Engineer: John Dunkerley

Alan Rawsthorne was born in 1905, the same year as Michael Tippett and Constant Lambert – in retrospect, one might say, a remarkable year for British music. His fellow Lancastrian,William Walton, who was, with Lambert, his closest professional friend, was three years his senior. But unlike them Rawsthorne was a late starter in music. He flirted with dentistry and architecture before becoming a student at the Royal Manchester College of Music and not until he was thirty did he settle in London and seriously attempt to make a living out of composition (and there were less enticements and encouragements in the way of commissions in those days than exist now) ...

"Lyrita’s assertive but understated style goes with competence and a well placed confidence that they have something substantial to offer which does not require lurid colours or wild experimentation ... The transfers been accomplished with typical professionalism and care. You will not be disappointed if you know the original vinyls. A generously packed and brilliant Rawsthorne collection which make a perfect complement to the Lyrita Rawsthorne symphonies ..." Rob Barnett, Click here to read the full review

"More rich fare for the British Music Collector comes in the shape of the two Rawsthorne concertos, his zesty 1944 overture and one of his major statements, the Symphonic Studies. I’ve always thought the Studies his masterpiece, a truly cogent, impressive and tensile work that wears its academic title with almost ironic brilliance ... It’s not the only performance of course. You can find competing and newer recordings on Chandos and Naxos. All three are excellent and recommendable. But these performances are as fine as any and the Studies is a truly compelling performance ..." Jonathan Woolf, Click here to read the full review

"No doubt about the highlight here. I’ve long cherished Sir John Pritchard’s splendid 1975 recording of Alan Rawsthorne’s tremendously compelling Symphonic Studies (arguably his masterpiece and for my money one of the most exhilarating achievements in British music from the first half of the last century) and am now delighted to be able to report that it re-emerges on CD in demonstration-worthy fashion, with all the lustre and glow present on the original LP (SRCS 90) mercifully intact ... With its judicious re-mastering, this substantial collection deserves a warm welcome and handily supplements Lyrita’s excellent earlier anthology containing Rawsthorne’s three symphonies (SRCD.291) ..." Andrew Achenbach, Click here to read the full review

"Malcolm Binns, with different orchestras and conductors, has given me the greatest pleasure, and my best experience of the second concerto ..." Peter Grahame Woolf, Click here to read the full review

"This well-filled disc gives us an opportunity to re-assess Rawsthorne’s finest works. It is a happy if belated follow-up to the disc of the three symphonies (SRCD 291 - review) which came out in the mid-nineties. Like that earlier CD this one, with excellent if arguably now somewhat historic performances, benefits from audio quality which was then in the demonstration class and still sounds superb today ... Lyrita march on, and the best of luck to them. They will, I’m sure, continue in this mission to bring great music and superb musicianship coupled with lovely warm recordings back into circulation. This is a worthwhile release, fine performances and fine music which should be better known ..." Gary Higginson, Click here to read the full review

Symphonic Studies (1938) Alan Rawsthorne (1905 - 1971) 20.11
1 Theme 0.49
2 1. Allegro di bravura 3.09
3 2. Allegretto 4.31
4 3. Allegro di bravura 1.56
5 4. Lento 3.36
6 5. Allegro piacevole 6.10
7 Overture 'Street Corner' (1944) Alan Rawsthorne (1905 - 1971) 5.32
Piano Concerto no.1 (1939 rev. 1942) Alan Rawsthorne (1905 - 1971) 20.10
8 1. Capriccio (Allegro molto) 7.51
9 2. Chaconne (Andante con moto) 6.27
10 3. Tarantella (Vivace) 5.52
Piano Concerto no.2 (1951) Alan Rawsthorne (1905 - 1971) 31.24
11 1. Allegro piacevole 10.28
12 2. Allegro molto 5.37
13 3. Adagio semplice 8.30
14 4. Allegro 6.54