ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Symphony No. 1 (London Philharmonic Orchestra; John Pritchard), Symphony No. 2 (A Pastoral Symphony) (BBC Symphony Orchestra; Nicholas Braithwaite), Symphony No. 3 (LPO; Norman Del Mar).
Catalogue Number: 12I065
Description: Since these were very rare repertoire specimens until Naxos released a disc containing all three in March of 2005, we repeat the blurb printed then: the First (1950) is a turbulent, often aggressive work with lots of sharp brass punctuation and an aspect reminiscent of the Vaughan Williams Fourth (perhaps not quite as uncompromising as that, though) while the Second (1959), regardless of its subtitle, has significant undercurrants of melancholy and harshness (country life includes frosts and freezing rain along with tweeting birdies and puffy clouds); these are put to flight by the delightful "Country Dance" third movement but the ambivalence returns in the vocal Andante finale which sets a 16th century English poem on summer. The Third (1964), at 31 minutes, is the longest and manages to reflect the turbulence of the first with the more subtle nature of the Second and it has a very haunting Sarabande slow movement at its heart. These Lyrita recordings were made in 1977, 1995 and 1968 respectively.