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Rubbra: Symphony No. 3 , A Tribute, Resurgam and Symphony No. 4
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Rubbra: Symphony No. 3 , A Tribute, Resurgam and Symphony No. 4

21 Aug 2007 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 29 Aug 2007
  • Label: Lyrita
  • Copyright: 2007 Lyrita
  • Total Length: 1:12:30
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LFC6MS
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 233,192 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dr. R. G. Bullock on 2 Feb 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Those of us who love English music owe a very special debt to Lyrita. It gave us what we wanted in recordings of the highest quality, both artistic and technical. For eons, the Lyrita recording of Rubbra's 7th was the only water in the desert for those who wanted to hear the work of this fine composer.
After the harshness of the 1st and the relentless contrapuntal working out of the 2nd, the 3rd is a gentle, easy symphony but still has all the Rubbran hallmarks of organic growth. The slow movement, built on a descending three note motif, is noble and very beautiful but perhaps he runs out of wind too quickly. The finale is a theme and variations - the only trouble being that the variations do not seem to flow naturally from one to the other. Don't let this put you off - this is a very fine symphony.
The 4th is a masterpiece. The opening is quite magical and built on such simple materials. The slow movement is represented by an introduction to the 3rd movement. This symphony is all of a piece but it will be the opening that will haunt you.
A Tribute was composed for Vaughan Williams' 70th birthday. It is typical of Rubbra's style throughout and a fine piece - only five minutes.
Resurgam is a late work, commisioned by the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra, a fine amateur body. Resurgam inhabits the sound world of the 8th symphony and needs to be listened to more carefully to be fully appreciated.
These recordings are all first rate. Del Mar and the Philharmonia give performances of the first order and the recording by Lyrita cannot be criticised.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Superly successful recordings of Rubbra Symphonies 3 and 4 with exemplarly sound! 23 Aug 2014
By Joseph Kline PhD, MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Edmund Rubbra, considered one of the leading composers of the 20th century, wrote a total of 11 symphonies. He studied composition with Gustav Holst at the Royal College of Music and later wrote a biography of his mentor. I recently reviewed performances of his Symphonies 6 and 8 with Norman Del Mar and the Philharmonia Orchestra. The present Lyrita disc includes Rubbra’s Symphonies 3 and 4 with the same forces. In addition to the symphonies, we also hear A Tribute and Overture Resurgam fitted between the two larger works.

Symphony 3’s 1st movement opens in major key but soon dark clouds begin appearing on the horizon as the intensity picks up. While less dark than Symphonies 6 and 8, the ominous character of the Third is ever-present. Rubbra’s superb orchestration skills are immediately apparent, and Del Mar and the Philharmonia are up to the task of expressing them. Rubbra’s orchestration and thematic structure are reminiscent of Sibelius at his early best. The tempo slows to a lovely finale. The 2nd movement begins quaintly with music that continues its resemblance to Sibelius with equal accessibility. Rubbra’s music isn’t quite the match to the Scandinavian, but then that would be a tall order for any subsequent composer to fill. The 2nd movement, however, is no thematic equal to the 1st, but its intensity is typical Rubbra. The movement returns to major in the prominent brass conclusion. The 3rd movement is music of quiet melancholy and occasional anguish but of considerable beauty throughout. The movement again ends with a lovely major mode conclusion. Del Mar is in tune with the darkness, and it is difficult to imagine any other conductor drawing more from the score. The 4th and final movement continues the melancholic mood so common in Rubbra, but it lightens slightly about 2 minutes into the movement. The mood progresses further away from despair. Structurally, the 4th movement is constructed as a theme with 7 superbly written variations that demonstrate contrasts in mode, style and tempo and concluding with a fugue. These aren’t up to the quality of Elgar’s Enigma set, but they are impressive nonetheless. The final variation is the longest and grandest, with brass ablaze and timpani underscoring the thematic majesty at the conclusion in a Bach-like harmonic resolution to a Picardy third.

A Tribute resulted from a commission from the BBC for a short work to celebrate Ralph Vaughn-Williams 70th birthday. It is slowly paced, rather pastoral, somewhat melancholic work that while attractive really doesn’t sound very much like Vaughn-Williams or celebration. Overture Resurgam was also a commissioned work but by the Plymouth Symphony to commemorate the Nazi bombing of the city. It is appropriately dark in mood during much of its 7+ minutes. (I’m beginning to think that no composer does dark as well or as often as Rubbra!) It is a pleasant, far more dramatic piece than A Tribute and seems to depict considerable light at the end of the tunnel.

Rubbra himself conducted one of the early performances of Symphony 4 dressed in military uniform, but Sir Adrian Boult premiered the work. It begins with a serene, conventionally structured dialogue between violins and woodwinds/brass repeating a simple rhythmic motif. This interplay evolves to a somewhat mournful and intense, pulsatile prelude to a moving intermediate climax. Eventually, the music becomes increasingly intense with an exquisite brass dialogue passage. Once again, Rubbra’s orchestration impresses, and the movement ends like someone in a death struggle taking some final breaths. The 2nd movement is rather easy-going but of less interest than the 1st movement. The 3rd movement is a serious affair lead by the low strings. The characteristic Rubbra intensity is ever-evident. This is easy music to love. The 4th movement picks up the pace, and Del Mar and the Philharmonia play their hearts out. I hope, by now, you don’t expect happy music. Good! The music becomes majestic and ends gloriously.

This is a superb disc in every respect. Interpretations, performance and sound are all exemplary. Unless you have a naively happy character, there is so much to love about the music of Edmund Rubbra. I don’t believe that Del Mar and company recorded more the the Symphonie Nos. 3, 4, 6, and 8, but I sure wish he had. I’ll have to buy the Chandos complete set of symphonies to hear the others, but for these Lyrita recordings, I’ll be surprised if Hickox betters these performances. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
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