Bliss - The Beatitudes, etc.
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Cat No: CHSA5191
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 2nd February 2018
WorksGod Save the Queen (arr. Arthur Bliss)
Introduction and Allegro
ArtistsEmily Birsan (soprano)
Ben Johnson (tenor)
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Premiered along with Britten’s War Requiem at the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962, but hardly ever heard since, The Beatitudes is remarkable for its dramatic intensity, ‘full of contrast and striking orchestral effects’, as The Times noted after a recent Barbican performance given by the same forces. The reviewer added that ‘soprano Emily Birsan was silvery clear, well supported by the tenor Ben Johnson. And the biggest round of applause should go to the BBC Symphony Chorus, full of passion.’
To complete the album are an arrangement of the National Anthem having all the flair that made the tenure of Bliss as Master of the Queen’s Music distinctive and successful, as well as the virtuosic Introduction and Allegro, dedicated to Stokowski and inspired by the powerful sound of American orchestras post-World War I.
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