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Ireland: Scherzo & Cortège / Tritons / The Forgotten Rite / Satyricon / The Overlanders, Suite

John Ireland , Richard Hickox , London Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Ireland: Scherzo & Cortège / Tritons / The Forgotten Rite / Satyricon / The Overlanders, Suite + Ireland: A Downland Suite / Orchestral Poem / Concertino Pastorale / Two Symphonic Studies
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Composer: John Ireland
  • Audio CD (October 28, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B000000AO1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,236 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Scherzo and Cortege: I. Boldly But Not Too Fast - Vivo
2. Scherzo and Cortege: II. Serioso
3. Tritons: Symphonic Prelude
4. Prelude
5. SATYRICON: Overture
6. The Overlanders: I. March: Scorched Earth
7. II. Romance: Mary and the Sailor
8. III. Intermezzo: Open Country
9. IV. Scherzo: The Brumpies
10. V. Finale: Night Stampede

Editorial Reviews

John Ireland's music is about as British as you can get. He was almost an exact contemporary of Ralph Vaughan Williams and his music is full of the same sweeping gestures, the same affectionate reliance on folk melodies. Everything on this disc is magnificent, from the bouncy Scherzo and Cortege to the fantastic The Forgotten Rite. What really takes the cake is the suite from the 1940s film The Overlanders about a World War II effort on behalf of the northern Australian cattle industry to move a million head of cattle south, away from the approaching Japanese. Hearing is believing. --Paul Cook

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
John Ireland is by now extremely well served on disc, though mostly by his chamber music - discs of his orchestral music in as good performances as these ones are still very welcome. Even so, I fail to grasp how some (particularly British) reviewers can claim that Ireland's music belong up there with the very best composers - the music on this disc for instance, is, while very appealing and often interesting, overall second-rate. That said, there is nothing wrong in listening to good second-rate music once in a while, and I have no qualms about giving this disc an overall recommendation.

The symphonic prelude Tritons is a slightly Baxian piece of nature imagery. It is well constructed although the musical material is a little thin - still, this is very well worth hearing, especially for people who appreciate Bax, and the performance is spirited. More rewarding still is the Forgotten Rite prelude, another piece of nature painting but this time an attempt at depicting its mysterious forces (don't think Tapiola, however). It is actually a pretty stirring work, and the performance is magnificent. The Satyricon overture was Ireland's last orchestral work and hastily thrown together in 1946. Although it contains some fine ideas and striking moments, it is overall a less memorable creation.

The disc is filled out with two selections from Ireland's stage and film music. The Scherzo & Cortége from a production of Julius Caesar was arranged by Geoffrey Bush; it is ceremonial, hollow and forgettable. The music Mackerras assembled from the film The Overlanders (partially orchestrated by one Ernest Irving) is, however, much more interesting - superior light music with some really catchy and evocative moments. Again I can find nothing to complain about concerning the performances and the Chandos recording is spacious and good. So while this is hardly a revelatory disc it is one that should provide ample rewards for listeners who don't expect too much from it.
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