GREGSON Orchestral Works

“Wissam Boustany and Richard Watkins play with superlative technique and verve in the two concertos...There really is something for everyone in this disc - glorious Arnoldesque tunes, stimulatingly serious expression, brilliant orchestration: a very Gregsonian cocktail. Enjoy!” --Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

“…Gregson’s music is impressive … this album has grown on me the more I’ve listened to it, and I look forward to hearing more from him. The musicians are invested in the work, and their playing is clean; the sound is quite complimentary to the orchestra…” --American Record Guide, January/February 2015

Edward Gregson is one of Britain’s most versatile and prolific composers, his approachable and engaging music having gained recognition worldwide. With the BBC Philharmonic, Bramwell Tovey conducts works that take inspiration from an array of musical and extra-musical sources, revealing the breadth of Gregson’s musical imagination.

The Horn Concerto, originally written in 1971 for soloist with brass band, is here heard in a recent orchestral arrangement, played by Richard Watkins, a leading horn player of his generation. Each of the Concerto’s three movements displays a different facet of the French horn’s character: serious, lyrical, and playful. Aztec Dances began as a substantial piece for recorder and piano; it was reworked for flute and piano at the request of Wissam Boustany, who here performs the final version, for flute and ensemble. Its vivid colours and ritualistic character were inspired by a British Museum exhibition exploring Aztec culture. Like Aztec Dances, the Concerto for Orchestra was revised twice. Its interim title, ‘Contrasts’, conveys the essence of the work, varieties of character and orchestral colour being key to it. Dream Song was commissioned to share a concert programme with Mahler’s Symphony No. 6. The essence of Mahler pervades the whole of this work which aims to create a parallel musical world to that of the Symphony.

“Disc four in a series of Gregson’s flinty, sharply imagined music includes excellent solo work in the two concertos, and gritty ensemble playing in the Concerto for Orchestra.” --BBC Music magazine, December 2014 ****

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