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

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COMPOSERS: Rawsthorne
LABELS: Lyrita
WORKS: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3
PERFORMER: Tracey Chadwell (soprano); LPO/John Pritchard, Nicholas Braithwaite, BBC SO/Norman Del Mar
Sandwiched between reissues of the First and Third Symphonies is a new (1993) recording of the Second, Pastoral, Symphony. It is a remarkable work: delicate flowerings and joy contrasted with tragedy and struggle in wild, empty landscapes. The final movement, reminiscent of Vaughan Williams’s Pastoral Symphony, tellingly employs a soprano (Tracey Chadwell, deeply affecting) expressing cold sorrow against summer warmth. All these are rich and powerful performances. The unsettling Walton-like First Symphony is strong and assertive with flashes of gritty humour and tough tenderness; the Third Symphony with its dark, stately Sarabande uses, not unattractively, contained atonality. Rewarding for the adventurous. Ian Lace