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Boughton: Symphony No. 3 & Oboe Concerto No. 1 CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Vernon Handley
  • Composer: Rutland Boughton
  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00000JPZ9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,375 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Rutland Boughton (1878-1960) is not a familiar name among British composers of the 20th century - even within Britain! I think this is a pity, because his orchestral music is certainly well worth hearing much more often. He was known primarily as a composer of vocal music, and that in the first decades of the century. There are two works on this Hyperion CD, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley. The first is the last of Boughton's three symphonies - this one in b minor. It's a lyrical work and reminiscent of Parry and Elgar in its sonority rather than Vaughan Williams and Tippett, but Boughton has a musical voice all his own. Particular striking and individual is the use of the brass, and the adagio introduction to the fourth movement is particularly beautiful. The other work on the CD is his Concerto for Oboe and Strings No.1 in C Major with Sarah Francis as the soloist. It was for his daughter Joy Boughton that it was composed, as was Benjamin Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, though this piece is easier to listen to than the Britten work because of the orchestral texture.
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Format: Audio CD
Recently I went along to a talk by Chris Boughton on his grandfather, the composer Rutland Boughton, famous in his day and ranked with Elgar and Vaughan Williams, but most people - like me - would just look blank at the name and say "Who he?"

The third symphony and the oboe concerto suggest that it may be time he came out of eclipse. I don't know that I'd rank him quite with his famous contemporaries, but these works are eminently listenable to and well served by Vernon Hanley and the RPO. He's rarely, if ever, performed in the concert hall these days and AFAIK these are the only orchestral works available on CD but if any more of them do surface, give them a try.
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Absolutely well worth having in your music library. Marvellous.
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great
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a827888) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e021144) out of 5 stars Rutland Boughton works from the 1930s 13 Feb. 2013
By Dr. H. A. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Rutland Boughton (1878-1960) is not a familiar name among British composers of the 20th century - even within Britain! I think this is a pity, because his orchestral music is certainly well worth hearing much more often. He was known primarily as a composer of vocal music, and that in the first decades of the century. There are two works on this Hyperion CD, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley. The first is the last of Boughton's three symphonies - this one in b minor. It's a lyrical work and reminiscent of Parry and Elgar in its sonority rather than Vaughan Williams and Tippett, but Boughton has a musical voice all his own. Particular striking and individual is the use of the brass, and the adagio introduction to the fourth movement is particularly beautiful. The other work on the CD is his Concerto for Oboe and Strings No.1 in C Major with Sarah Francis as the soloist. It was for his daughter Joy Boughton that it was composed, as was Benjamin Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, though this piece is easier to listen to than the Britten work because of the orchestral texture.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c1d4978) out of 5 stars Two fine works in compelling performances 18 Feb. 2010
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The modest revival of the music of Rutland Boughton (1878-1960) has primarily been due to the effort of Hyperion. It would indeed be nice to hear his best works somewhat more frequently, although I do suspect that they will always remain a fringe repertoire - the music is atmospheric and well-crafted and contains some very attractive material, but it is always a little inhibited; there is nothing bold or very striking in it (even though e.g. his opera The Immortal Hour is gorgeous).

As for the music featured here, the third symphony is a lovely work of Celtic fairytale atmosphere - akin to Bax but more diffuse and mannered at the same time; the end result sounds rather like Elgar, but with water added. It is well-crafted, imaginatively scored and - again - contains some really good and attractive melodies (although they fail to linger in the memory once the performance is over). As you'd expect Handley leads a very compelling performance even though the strings of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra sound a little thin at times.

The coupling is the first oboe concerto (with strings), a fine work as well which never quite takes off. The language is slightly more dissonant and complex than the purely opulently late-romantic symphony (both works date from the late 1930s). Its virtuosic solo part is impressively handled by Sarah Francis, however, especially in the lyrical slow movement. The sound quality is very good, and this is overall a very recommendable release, and a must for lovers of the English late-romanticism of Elgar, Delius and Bantock, say.
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