JOHN JOUBERT (b.1927): Symphony No. 2, Op. 68, CARLO MARTELLI (b.1935): Symphony, Op. 4, WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): Prelude and Derrybeg Fair from The Fairy Fiddler.
Catalogue Number: 09N008
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7270
Description: Hammer film fans will remember Martelli for having scored Curse of the Mummy's Tomb and Prehistoric Women. His only symphony is quite early, dating from 1955-56 and is a three-movement, 34-minute work of significant achievement whose general alignment strikes me as being along the Sibelius-Nielsen-Robert Simpson axis. As "The Times" noted in their Oct. 28, 1957 notice of its performance at the Royal Festival Hall, "...it is rarely indeed that members are introduced to a work as compelling as the symphony by Carlo Martelli... Grwoth and controlled tension are the most impressive qualities ... a work not only of exceptional promise but of heartening achievement." Unfortunately, in the following years of William Glock's BBC tenure, tonal music was deprecated and not performed, leading Martelli to give up composing for decades. Alwyn was also only 19 when he began his first stage work in 1924 (he never finished it), from which these two delightful pieces of incidental music (totalling just under 14 minutes) come. Joubert's single-movement, 22-minute symphony is "in memory of those killed at Sharpeville [South Africa] 21.3.60". Taking Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony as a model but substituting African melodies for Russian political songs, he produces a zealously committed, red-hot piece of musical agitprop which builds to one of the more exciting and cathartic finales we've heard in some time. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Martin Yates.