Rubbra: Sinfonia concertante; A Tribute; The Morning Watch; Ode to the Queen

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Rubbra
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Sinfonia concertante; A Tribute; The Morning Watch; Ode to the Queen
PERFORMER: Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano), Howard Shelley (piano); BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales/Richard Hickox
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9966 Reissue (1996-9)
With Chandos’s excellent Rubbra symphonic cycle now available as a boxed set, it makes good sense to offer the original CD ‘fillers’ separately. There’s some fine Rubbra here: especially the intense but dignified The Morning Watch (originally meant to be part of a choral Fifth Symphony), and although the workmanship sometimes shows through in the Sinfonia concertante, there’s more than enough imaginative writing to counterbalance. Performances are never less than good – Howard Shelley is outstanding in the Sinfonia concertante – and well-recorded, with only the choral sound a little congested in The Morning Watch. Stephen Johnson

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