Bliss: Morning Heroes

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

LABELS: Carlton BBC Radio Classics
WORKS: Morning Heroes
PERFORMER: Richard Baker (narrator) BBC SO & Chorus/Charles Groves
CATALOGUE NO: 15656 91992 ADD
Bliss described Morning Heroes (1928-30) as ‘a Symphony for Orator, Chorus and Orchestra’. It is a deeply personal testament, composed ten years after the First World War in memory of the composer’s brother Kennard, who was killed during the Battle of the Somme. The texts mix Classical with modern poets, and the concept certainly makes for a moving experience, even if it lacks the sheer variety and drama of, say, Britten’s War Requiem. Groves was always a dedicated advocate, to which this studio recording bears eloquent testimony, featuring excellent playing from the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The sound is satisfactory if somewhat opaque, while the performance is not quite as eloquent as Groves’s earlier version with Liverpool forces and John Westbrook. Terry Barfoot