Rawsthorne: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3

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COMPOSERS: Rawsthorne
ALBUM TITLE: Rawsthorne
WORKS: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3
PERFORMER: Charlotte Ellet, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, David Lloyd Jones
This disc of Alan Rawsthorne’s three


symphonies is well timed to celebrate

the centenary of this neglected British

composer. The First (1950) is a

good introduction to his style, with a

touch of Waltonian brusqueness and

breeziness never offset by Walton’s

comfortable lyricism, and a strong

sense of symphonic argument – if

perhaps not sufficiently clinched by

the finale. The Second, A Pastoral

Symphony (1959), is more relaxed,

with a clod-hopping ‘Country Dance’

of a scherzo; but the slow movement’s

rural idyll seems threatened by an

intrusive march episode, and the gentle

closing setting of an Elizabethan poem

is tinged with melancholy. The Third

(1964) is overall the most successful,

with the feeling of genuine, tough

symphonic argument running through

all four, continuous movements to an

entirely convincing quiet conclusion.

These are remarkably confident and

assured performances, paced by David

Lloyd-Jones’ firm, experienced hand.

Charlotte Ellett brings a sweet tone

to the finale of No. 2. The recording

lacks something in immediacy, but

nothing in clarity or internal balance.

With Lyrita’s compilation of the

three Symphonies currently out of

the catalogue, this newcomer has the

field to itself. But in any case it would


deserve success. Anthony Burton