WORKS: Symphony No. 8
PERFORMER: Philharmonia Orchestra/George Lloyd
CATALOGUE NO: TROY 230
Lloyd’s Eighth Symphony, completing Albany’s Lloyd symphonies series, was the work that reawakened interest in the composer after Edward Downes broadcast it with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra in 1977. Lloyd had enjoyed early success with operas and symphonies but shell-shock from World War II meant long recuperation growing carnations and mushrooms before composition was resumed, slowly, as he recovered.
Lloyd wanted his Eighth Symphony to be vivacious and brilliant – it is. After an all-too-short evocative and ethereal opening, the first movement bounces along puckishly; high spirits occasionally pause for contemplation or soaring Romantic melodies. Lloyd admits that his lovely central Largo slow movement is sad, but it is a gentle, sweet sadness. His Vivace finale is an exuberant saltarello: it’s like Walton and Eric Coates meeting Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony. Lloyd says that he had no programme in mind but I was reminded of Bax in several places and, for me, the work often evokes the movement of the sea. Lloyd and the Philharmonia clearly delight in this happy, sunny symphony. Ian Lace