George Lloyd - Symphony Nos. 4, 5 & 8

Philharmonia Orchestra
Sir Edward Downes, conductor

Label: Lyrita
Copyright: 2007 Lyrita Recorded Edition, England
Catalogue number: SRCD.2258
UPC/EAN: 5020926225825
Format: CD
Analogue / Digital recording: ADD
Number of discs: 3
Total playing time: 2 hours 43 mins
Price: £ 29.99 (+ postage & packing)

CD 1: Recorded at Walthamstow, 14 July 1981, Producer: Andrew Cornall, Engineers: Kenneth Wilkinson, John Pellowe
CD 2: Recorded at Kingsway Hall, 25 - 27 April 1979, Producer: Andrew Cornall, Engineer: John Dunkerley
CD 3: Recorded at Walthamstow, 21 July 1978, Producer: Andrew Cornall, Engineer: Stanly Goodall

George Lloyd's promising start to a career in music was literally blasted to a halt by the War. Lloyd was a marine on the Arctic convoys in the North Atlantic, serving on HMS Trinidad for which he wrote the ship’s march. This was the ill-fated ship which, in 1942, accidentally torpedoed itself when a steering device jammed. He was in the engine-room after the explosion but got out and was rescued. However, he was so badly shell-shocked it was feared he would not survive, and he was discharged as a hopeless case. He was only slowly nursed back to health over many years by his devoted wife, Nancy. By the end of the War he was able to travel, and Nancy, who was Swiss, took him to Switzerland where he wrote the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, both sublimating wartime experiences in wide-spanning colourful music of immediate melodic and emotional appeal.

"This Lyrita set is irresistible if you want to explore Lloyd’s symphonies for the first time ... Certainly his best purely orchestral work is to be found in the symphonies 4 - 8 where this romantic master vies with Bax and Alwyn but remains completely distinctive. The top-line merits of this set are accentuated by Lewis Foreman’s excellent notes which nicely chart the Lloyd renaissance, by the glories of the analogue engineering, by Downes’ grip on the Fourth Symphony and by the thoughtfully attractive pricing decision ..." Rob Barnett, Click here to read the full review

"The performances are first rate. Downes and the Philharmonia realise the changing moods of the music to perfection, and play with genuine commitment. The sound and balance of these late-analogue recordings is excellent and a very believable concert-hall balance is created. As usual with Lyrita the presentation is of a high standard, with fascinating programme notes by Lewis Foreman and the composer himself ..." Ewan McCormick, Click here to read the full review

"Lyrita has issued this three-for-the-price-of-two set at a propitious time and it makes strong claims on collectors new and old, even those who may have collected the composer-conducted recordings on Albany. For one thing Downes has the architectural sagacity to pace the symphonies with absolute assurance - for another he has been accorded some typically spot-on Lyrita recordings with a forward, bright sound that reveals plenty of detail, rather more so in fact than the Albanys ..." Jonathan Woolf, Click here to read the full review

"The Philharmonia Orchestra plays extremely well, Edward Downes bringing out all the details in the scores with great success. Lyrita’s recordings, excellently re-mastered by Simon Gibson, are as superb as ever, made in acoustics which allow the climaxes to expand without congealing into a muddy mess while preserving the transparency of Downes’s direction ..." Peter Joelson, Click here to read the full review

Disc 1
Symphony No. 4 in B (1945 - 6) George Lloyd (1913 - 1998) 60.02
1 I Allegro moderato 17.10
2 II Lento tranquillo 12.39
3 III Allegro scherzando 13.17
4 IV Lento – Allegro non troppo 19.46
Disc 2
Symphony No. 5 in B flat (1947 - 8) George Lloyd (1913 - 1998) 57.34
1 I Pastorale (Allegretto con tenerezza) 12.24
2 II Corale (Grave) 11.07
3 III Rondo (Delicatamente scherzando) 9.08
4 IV Lamento (Adagio drammatico) 14.14
5 V Finale (Vivace) 10.37
Disc 3
Symphony No. 8 (1961 orch. 1965) George Lloyd (1913 - 1998) 45.28
1 I Tranquillo - Allegro 18.32
2 II Largo 14.13
3 III Vivace 12.40