Edgar Bainton Symphony no.3 in C minor
Rutland Boughton Symphony no.1 ‘Oliver Cromwell’RW
RWRoderick Williams (baritone)
BBC Concert Orchestra
Vernon Handley CBE (conductor)
Cynthia Fleming (leader)
Recorded at The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford
12–13 July 2006
A revelation for all lovers of the English symphony: Vernon Handley conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra works his magic on two tremendous but until now unknown scores, in an unexpected coupling. Edgar Bainton’s glorious Third Symphony, his last work, from 1956, was written when he was living in Australia, and Rutland Boughton’s First Symphony, from 1905, a swaggering Edwardian celebration of Oliver Cromwell, is crowned by baritone Roderick Williams’s fervent projection of Cromwell’s prayer at the end. We perhaps do not link the names of Edgar Bainton and Rutland Boughton, yet they were friends and contemporaries when Boughton was trying to launch his opera scheme at Glastonbury at the beginning of WWI, and their music, early and late, makes a uniquely rewarding programme.
"... another substaintial coupling from Dutton, on which Vernon Handley and the BBC Concert Orchestra resuscitate two symphonies by Edgar Bainton and Rutland Boughton. The latter's First (a red-blooded, somewhat Lisztian character portrait of Oliver Cromwell) dates from 1905 and its finale incorporates a sincerely felt setting for baritone (here the eloquent Roderick Williams) of Cromwell's last prayer. Bainton's Third Symphony (1956) ... strikes me as a find: a 42-minute journey of frequently piercing beauty and slumbering power, waymarked by a haunting pentatonic motif. With first rate orchestral playing and Handley in his element, Anglophiles and adventurous collectors alike needn't tarry."
Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone, June 2007