George Butterworth – Orchestral Works – BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Kriss Russman (2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

George Butterworth – Orchestral Works – BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Kriss Russman (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:15:32 minutes | 1,27 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | ©  BIS Record
Recorded: January 2015 (1, 8–15, 19) and Sept 2015 (2–7, 16–18) at Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, Wales

When George Butterworth joined the army in 1914, his most recent works included the song cycle Six Songs from ‘A Shropshire Lad’ as well as the Rhapsody ‘A Shropshire Lad’, which he called ‘an orchestral epilogue’ to his settings of A. E. Housman’s poems. The Rhapsody has since been described as ‘one of the greatest of all English orchestral works’ and when Butterworth left England to fight in the First World War, he was seen as one of the bright hopes of British music – a hope that in August 1916 was extinguished in the trenches at the Somme. When Butterworth joined up he stopped composing and also destroyed several manuscripts that he felt were inferior. An exception was an Orchestral Fantasia which he had started just before the war broke out: a 92-bar full score manuscript lasting some three-and-a-half minutes has been preserved. On the first page Butterworth wrote ‘see short score’ which implies that the work may have been completed – but if so, the score in question has been lost. The composer and conductor Kriss Russman has therefore taken up where the manuscript breaks off, adding some 5 minutes of music through a process which he describes in his liner notes as ‘developing Butterworth’s original ideas and combining them with additional material derived from an analysis of his other music.’ Performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Russman himself, the world première recording of the Fantasia closes the present disc which also includes some of Butterworth’s best loved pieces, such as The Banks of Green Willow. Russman has also made orchestral arrangements of the five-movement Suite for String Quartette and the Six Songs from ‘A Shropshire Lad’, both of which are recorded here for the first time. The soloist in the song cycle, and in the three songs that make up Love Blows as the Wind Blows, is James Rutherford, who has previously recorded the Shropshire Lad songs for BIS in the original version with piano accompaniment.

George Butterworth (1885–1916)
1 Idyll: The Banks of Green Willow 06:04
Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad
2 I. Loveliest of trees 02:47
3 II. When I was one-and-twenty 01:23
4 III. Look not in my eyes 02:11
5 IV. Think no more, lad 01:18
6 V. The lads in their hundreds 02:07
7 VI. Is my team ploughing? 03:44
8 Rhapsody A Shropshire Lad 10:06
Two English Idylls
9 I. Allegro scherzando 04:26
10 II. Adagio non troppo 04:33
Suite for String Quartette
11 I. Andante con moto, molto espressivo 03:42
12 II. Scherzando – non allegro 00:56
13 III. Allegro molto 04:29
14 IV. Molto moderato ed espressivo 04:41
15 V. Moderato 04:47
Love Blows as the Wind Blows
16 I. In the year that’s come and gone 03:07
17 II. Life in her creaking shoes 01:58
18 III. On the way to Kew 03:56
19 Orchestral Fantasia 09:08

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Kriss Russman conductor
James Rutherford baritone (2–7, 16–18)