I was delighted to see this back again! Bliss was an excellent conductor of his own music and these performances are, in many ways, unrivalled. The 'Checkmate Suite' has an urgency unlike any other recording known to me and a heightened sense of drama - a truly compelling performance. The recordings come from 1955-1960, but the Heritage transfer is excellent, conveying a great sense of immediacy. Miracle in the Gorbals is a highly memorable and darkly moving score - one of Bliss's finest scores and the drama and power of the ballet is fully conveyed here. I was especially thrilled to see Bliss's own recording of the suite from his film score 'Things to Come' back in the catalogue - largely because, not only is it a fine performance of the work as a whole, but it also includes 'Machines' - a short but compelling movement, which fully conveys a sense of looming threat and imminent catastrophe (it would be ideal background music for a documentary on the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s). It has always mystified me why this movement (which Bliss obviously considered important enough to include in his own Suite) has been invariably left out of subsequent recordings (including that compiled by Christopher Palmer for example). As far as I'm aware the only other recording (and there are many of them) to include 'Machines' is Rumon Gamba's complete recording of 'Things to Come' on Chandos. It's also good to have back Campoli's recording of 'Theme and Cadenza for Solo Violin and Orchestra' and the cheerfully uplifting 'Welcome the Queen'. There have been earlier manifestations of some of these recordings on Belart and Dutton,for example (coupled with other works), but this excellent programme is unique.
Don't hesitate, this is one of the most rewarding CDs of music by Bliss. James Jolly provides concise, yet very helpful booklet notes too. Great stuff!