Vernon Handley: Champion of British Music | Warner - Icon 0982022

Vernon Handley: Champion of British Music

Label: Warner - Icon

Cat No: 0982022

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 5

Release Date: 12th September 2011



Vernon George Handley was born in Enfield, London, in 1930. He disliked his first names and preferred to use the nickname Tod, given to him as a baby because he toddled along with his toes turned inwards.

Handley was a great champion of British music. His first recording, made in 1965 for a minor record label, was of Bax's Fourth Symphony with the newly-formed Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra. He then went on to record for Lyrita, another small independent company specialising in British music. In the early 1970s, Handley started to record for Classics for Pleasure and went on to make many more recordings for both CfP and the main EMI label.

Probably because his professional appointments were nearly all in the UK, and the fact that he put great emphasis on performing British music, his reputation abroad wasn't as great as it deserved to be. He also devoted a great deal of his time to promoting the careers of young, up-coming, British musicians.

This set of 5 CDs showcases recordings of Handley conducting five of the UK's great orchestras. It was with 'Tod' Handley in 1984 that a 28-year-old Nigel Kennedy made his début recording of the Elgar Concerto, here heard on disc one. The first three CDs in the set comprise works by English composers; the other two illustrate Handley conducting two great concertos from the standard repertoire, both with Tasmin Little, and some charming Fauré and popular Russian music.

"Tod" Handley was a self-effacing, modest man who, nevertheless, did not suffer fools easily. This is illustrated no better than in his acceptance-speak at the 2007 Classical Brit Awards when he received the Lifetime Achievement award. A video of this is well worth seeing on YouTube. Handley died the following year.

CD 1
[1] Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
David Nolan (violin)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 24-25 June 1985, St. Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London

Elgar: Violin Concerto in B minor, Op.61
[2] I Allegro
[3] II Andante
[4] III Allegro molto – Cadenza – Allegro molto
Nigel Kennedy (violin)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 21 & 22 March 1984, Watford Town Hall

[5] Bliss: Overture 'Edinburgh'
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Recorded: 28-29 August 1979, Great Hall, Birmingham University

Total approximate duration: 78.41

CD 2
[1] Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: November-December 1990, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Walton: Variations on a Theme by Hindemith
[2] Tema (Andante con moto)
[3] I Vivace
[4] II Allegramente
[5] III Larghetto
[6] IV Moto perpetuo (con slancio)
[7] V Andante con moto
[8] VI Scherzando
[9] VII Lento molto
[10] VIII Vivacissimo
[11] IX Maestoso
[12] Finale (Allegro molto)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Recorded: 11 & 12 May 1988, Wessex Hall, Poole Arts Centre, Dorset

Tippett: Concerto for double string orchestra
[13] I Allegro con brio
[14] II Adagio cantabile
[15] III Allegro molto
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 3 & 4 December 1973, Barking Town Hall

[16] Finzi: Eclogue for piano & string orchestra
Piers Lane (piano)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 26-27 July 1994, Free Trade Hall, Manchester

Total approximate duration: 72.49

CD 3
[1] Delius: On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
[2] Delius: Summer Night on the River
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: October 1977, Henry Wood Hall, London

[3] Brigg Fair – An English Rhapsody
Hallé Orchestra
Recorded: September 1981, Free Trade Hall, Manchester

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.2 'A London Symphony'
[4] I Lento – Allegro risoluto
[5] II Lento
[6] III Scherzo (Nocturne) – Allegro vivace
[7] IV Andante con moto – Maestoso all marcia
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 3-4 March 1992, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Total approximate duration: 72.26

CD 4
Bruch: Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.26
[1] I Vorspiel: Allegro moderato
[2] II Adagio
[3] III Finale: Allegro energico
Tasmin Little (violin)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 30 June & 1 July 1989, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.47
[4] I Allegro moderato
[5] II Adagio di molto
[6] III Allegro, ma non tanto
Tasmin Little (violin)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 15-17 September 1991, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

[7] Fauré: Pavane, Op.50
Fauré: Masques et bergamasques, Op.112
[8] I Ouverture
[9] II Menuet
[10] III Gavotte
[11] IV Pastorale
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 3, 4 & 12 November 1974, Barking Town Hall

Total approximate duration: 78.02

CD 5
[1] Tchaikovsky: Hamlet - Fantasy Overture, Op.67
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded: 3, 4 & 12 November 1974, Barking Town Hall

[2] Mussorgsky: A Night on the Bare Mountain
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol,
[3] I Alborada (Vivo e strepitoso)
[4] II Variazioni (Andante con moto)
[5] III Alborada (Vivo e strepitoso)
[6] IV Scena e canto gitano (Allegretto)
[7] V Fandango asturiano
[8] Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia
[9] Borodin: Prince Igor – Overture (orch. Glazunov)
[10] Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op.36
Hallé Orchestra
Recorded: January 1988, Free Trade Hall, Manchester

Total approximate duration 77.17

This product has now been deleted. Information is for reference only.

Error on this page? Let us know here

Need more information on this product? Click here