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Butterworth: A Shropshire Lad / Parry: Lady Radnor's Suite / Bridge / Suite for String Orchestra

George Butterworth Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £11.33 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Frequently Bought Together

Butterworth: A Shropshire Lad / Parry: Lady Radnor's Suite / Bridge / Suite for String Orchestra + On the Banks of Green Willow + Butterworth: Shropshire Lad (Songs From A Shropshire Lad/ Folk Songs From Sussex)
Price For All Three: £23.45

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Product details

  • Composer: George Butterworth
  • Audio CD (23 Aug 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nimbus
  • ASIN: B0000037C0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,483 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. A Shropshire Lad10:21Album Only
Listen  2. English Idylls No. 1 4:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. English Idylls No. 2 4:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. The Banks of Green Willow 5:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Lady Radnor's Suite: Prelude 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Lady Radnor's Suite: Allemande 2:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Lady Radnor's Suite: Sarabande 2:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Lady Radnor's Suite: Bourrée 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Lady Radnor's Suite: Slow Minuet 2:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Lady Radnor's Suite: Gigue 1:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Suite For String: Prelude 6:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Suite For String: Intermezzo 2:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Suite For String: Nocturne 6:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Suite For String: Finale 4:04£0.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine old Digital recording 17 July 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is a lovely record. Boughton allows Butterworth's music to unfold naturally so that it is compelling without being over-driven or losing its pastoral character. Butterworth is a wonderful English composer and these performances are very good. The only criticism is that the transfer level is a bit low so that the volume needs to be turned up a little higher than normal, otherwise you'll miss the opening of the music. The Frank Bridge piece, though darker in nature, is an ideal coupling with the Butterworth works and makes this version essential. The Parry serves as a pleasant change in style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime 20 May 2014
By LC67
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this CD as I wasn't happy with the Belart recording I had by Boult of Butterworth from 1964. William Boughton's interpretation of his masterpieces is delicate yet robust, so sympathetic and well-judged that it makes for a truly atmospheric listening experience. Utterly beautiful music, performed skilfully and sensitively. If you admire Butterworth, this CD is a must.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessentially English 10 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A longstanding favourite recording that it's great to be able to buy for one's friends all these years later. The Butterworth is especially beautiful.

On time too!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English finest 27 April 2000
By John van Maris - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This cd is worth buying already for the first 4 tracks, being most of the work that remains of George Butterworth, a composer who died too young as an officer in the battle of the Somme in 1916. If one hears the delicate and intense melodies and harmonies, the perfect setting of the instruments, one has to wonder what would have become of George Butterworth if he had not been shot by a German sniper. Gerald Finzi seems to be influenced by the work of Butterworth, and it is easy to hear how and why that is.The works of the other composers on this cd, especially the work of Parry, make it obvious that there is a good English tradition in classical music, that should deserve more of our attention.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wondrous and moving 17 May 2009
By Colin Glithero - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Previous reviewers have already described the music on this CD as well or better than I could, but I have to support their praise of one of the finest discs in my collection. Both the Parry and the Bridge suites are music of grace and charm, but the four works by George Butterworth are small masterpieces. Like Vaughan Williams, Butterworth was a dedicated and knowledgeable collector of English folk songs. The longest piece of his on this disc,The Shropshire Lad, does not, in fact, contain any folk melodies, but is strongly evocative of the rural setting of the poem sequence of that name by A.E.Houseman, which Butterworth had previously set to music. He used the melody from one of the songs in this song-cycle as the theme of the orchestral work. The two English Idylls, and The Banks of Green Willow, are based directly on folk songs.Unlike many composers who have sought to adapt folk music, Butterworth is able to use a rich, full range of orchestral sound while preserving the simplicity and directness of the original tunes. All of his works on this CD are of the highest quality. The two Idylls are shorter and simpler, the Shropshire Lad has a great romantic sweep, but my favorite has to be The Banks of Green Willow, a beautiful treatment of two classic English folksongs, the title song and Bushes and Briars. On a lighter note, I have two other reasons for liking this disc. Several decades ago The Banks of Green Willow was used to introduce a BBC radio adaptation of the classic historical novel, Lorna Doone. As a pre-adolescent I thus became hooked on classical music and on reading books that were too old for me. Also,this CD was recorded in the Great Hall at the University of Birmingham(the one in England, not Alabama). Guess where I took my finals. Brum rules!!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Performances, Worthy of George Butterworth's Fine Music, but Somewhat Wasted on Parry's and Bridge's Lesser Works 11 Oct 2010
By Gerald Parker - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This recording, also issued in the U.S. by the well-known Musical Heritage Society (5153293 being the issue number on the M.H.S. disc's surface, 515329-X on the box's recto and verso paper inserts), presents some very agreeable and eminently approachable English music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Alas, while the music is accessible and mostly pleasantly melodious, it is of variable quality. In short, Parry's and Bridge's works seem like "small change" in the company that they keep on this CD with Butterworth's truly exquisite folk-tinted pastoral music, gorgeous tone poems (though not termed that) that they are. To be fair, this is due to the choice of Parry's and Bridge's music being from among their more derivative and pallidly academic-sounding works in order to share disc space with some of the very best strains of Butterworth's most memorable music.

Sir Hubert Parry's "Lady Radnor's Suite" is a clever example of "Baroque pastiche", imitating 18th century dances in orchestral garb that reminds one of the warmly robust textures of Sir Hamilton Harty's performing editions of suites of excerpts from G.F. Handel's "Water Music" and "Royal Fireworks Music". As such intentionally derivative music goes, Parry's suite probably shows more genuine understanding and absorbtion of Baroque dance suite style and meolodic-harmonic content (apart from in the obviously differently motivated "Slow Minuet" movement) than most such efforts. On the other hand, it does not offer much besides such feigned manner in a work which, indeed, is what the French might term an "exercice de style"; one thinks of the best of similar works which add something more to the mix, e.g. Grieg's "Holberg Suite", with its sweetly nostalgic veneer over the borrowed dance rhythms and styles of more or less the same past epoch of musical history. If the listener relishes this sort of thing, Parry's work may impress him for stature more than it does this listener.

Frank Bridge probably is known better to most music lovers as the teacher of his only composition student, Sir Benjamin Britten, whom he greatly influenced. Some of Bridge's music, especially after his post-1920 turn to a more compositionally "advanced" style, is of arresting and striking originality. His "Suite for Strings" (i.e., for string orchestra) is from his earlier period; it also sounds more redolent of Bridge's connexion to the academic aspect of his musical career, than with music which might spring from more urgent inspiration. Despite the work's expert construction and quality, this bland and pallid work, despite its renown, to these ears seem to suffer from a sort of "musical tired blood, as it were, and from a sense thus conveyed of musical purposelessness, apart from of demonstrating compositional virtuosity. Bridge's music certainly is not boring, or arcane, or difficult "to understand" (in the sense and to the degree that music can be said to require such comprehension), it simply is that after hearing all the hustle and bustle, with the moments along the way of more hushed lyricism, the work can leave one, after having finished listening to it, with little by which to remember all the tone-spinning. The overall effect of this music, despite all of the composer's skill that it embodies, is synthetic and somewhat "cobbled together", rather than genuinely inspired. Other listeners, however, may disagree with such an assessment. ("Chacun à son goût", as the French say.) Bridge's writing for string instruments is exceptionally expert, perhaps reason enough to hear the work occasionally or to study its score for what it reveals, so notably, of the sheer craftsmanship of musical creation.

What makes this compact disc worthy of the buyer's interest, as indicated enthusiastically at the onset of this review (apart, of course, from the truly superb performances of both the lesser and the best of its music) are George Butterworth's exquisitely melodious and aromatically orchestrated masterpieces in the "English pastoral style" ("A Shropshire Lad, the first and second "English Idylls", and another idyll titled "The Banks of Green Willow"), often highly folk music imbued, so well known from British works in the same and essentially related idioms by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arnold Bax, Frederick Delius, Gerald Finzi, Herbert Howells, as well, to some extent, by Gustave Holst and that expatriate (to Canada), Healey Willan, among many others. At its least imaginative and slavishly imitative of folk music linked works, one can almost conjure up in the music of some others among the lesser British and Nordic "pastoralists" visions of milkmaids sitting at their stools all for the apparent sake of tiresomely tallying up the number of "strokes per teat per bucket" of milk extracted from the placid animals. That kind of literalist stuff, of course, is far from what springs from the poetic imaginations of composers like Ralph Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth, John Ireland, Ernest John Moeran, or the other composers just singled out for mention! Although prevailingly tranquil, Butterworth's melodic inspiration is unfailing, his orchestration marvellously fragrant and evocative, while the insistent but delightfully unpredictable inner motion of the music at even very slow tempi keeps the music from lagging or growing sluggish.

Butterworth's works on this recording are gorgeous stuff, superbly played and conducted (with, of course, additional instruments and their players added to the ranks of the English String Orchestra to play the mixed instrumentation of Butterworth's scoring of his works included), and thus are more worthy of William Boughton's expert direction than is the music of the works by Parry and Bridge unequally harnassed to Butterworth's music. While this critic has a fairly good array of LP recordings by conductors of preceding generations who have been associated with music of the "British pastoralists", e.g. Sir John Barbirolli (above all!), Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir Eugene Goosens, and Sir André Previn, there is less in that personal collection of recordings directed by later baton-wielding exponents of the British pastoralists' music such as those led by Vernon Handley, William Boughton, or Richard Hickox (dropping British peerage terms of address again for the moment), among others. The calibre of these currently active conductors is quite extraordinary. However, those treasured LPs from a receding era are. inaccessibly. in this critic's basement at the moment, so it would be unfair to make comparisons with such earlier performances too exclusively from memory.

There is no doubting, though, that William Boughton is a very expert and sensitive proponent of music by the British pastoralists on this and on some other CDs auditioned previous to this one. Certainly, these 1986 and 1987 recordings are highly commendable. Especially if the collector does not own already the legendary recordings which Sir John Barbirolli, most notably, made of some of these British pastoralist works by Butterworth and by other likeminded composers (i.e., those of George Butterworth, not music of the later and unrelated Arthur Butterworth, a composer whom Barbirolli also championed), Boughton's fine-sounding recordings on this CD will more than suffice.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine English String Music, Wonderfully Performed 25 Feb 2014
By J. R. Trtek - Published on
Format:Audio CD
It can get better than this, but it won't happen every day. This veteran album of English string music by George Butterworth, Hubert Parry and Frank Bridge is a standout of this genre. Boughton and his ensemble capture every essence, each facet just right. If you like this kind of music but haven't traveled much beyond Ralph Vaughan Williams, give this disc a try. It will widen your horizons immensely.
5.0 out of 5 stars How Lovely and Tragic 3 Jan 2013
By Downeast Gal - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This music is so lovely. What a terrible loss with the death of the composer during WW I. The tragedy of that "great war" never seems to end. Downeast Gal
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