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GARDNER: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Symphony No. 1 / Midsummer Ale Overture

Composer(s):Gardner, John
Artist(s) Lloyd-Jones, David, Conductor • Royal Scottish National OrchestraDonohoe, Peter, piano
Period(s) Contemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosOrchestral
Catalogue 8.570406
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
 
MP3
USD 6.99
 

 


The English composer John Gardner has been largely neglected, in spite of his prolific output. His career began with great promise before the war, to be resumed gradually afterwards, but seldom with the success he seemed to deserve. This recording should help to re-establish his reputation with two relatively early works written in the post-war years, the Symphony No. 1, “a superbly crafted work... by a subtle and imaginative orchestrator” (Paul Conway/Musicweb-International) and the Piano Concerto No. 1, both premièred by Barbirolli. The Piano Concerto here receives only its third performance. Midsummer Ale is a classic piece of British light music with delightfully catchy melodies.


   




Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

This coupling of two of John Gardner’s major works, plus a sparkling comedy of overture, could not be more welcome, brilliantly played and recorded. Here is one of the most unjustly neglected composers of his generation. The Symphony No. 1, the most extended of the works on the new disc, is in four movements, spanning over 40 minutes. Though it was written in 1947, it was not performed until 1951. Its brooding opening Lento e Grave movement leads to an Allegro with echoes of Walton in its jazzy syncopations, though with sharper harmonies. As always in Gardner’s music the orchestration is brilliantly clear. Full of good ideas, it has a structure which is quite hard to grasp but is well held together in this superb performance. An attractively

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Review By David Denton, Naxos,September 2007

John Gardner belongs to that era of English composers that were willfully betrayed by a British music establishment besotted by the avant garde Central European composers, and failing on every count to promote their own national music. Born in 1917 he enjoyed success as a pianist almost from childhood, his musical education completed at Oxford University. Enjoying a career as a school teacher and composer when the Second World War erupted, he joined the armed forces, and at the end of the conflict shelved all of his previous compositions. It was to be mark the beginning of work on his First Symphony, described as opus 2 and completed in the summer of 1947. Premiered three years later it persuaded Gardner to largely commit himself to composition, and he has since built up a

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