Davis: Bliss - The Beatitudes, Introduction and Allegro, God Save the Queen (24/96 FLAC)
Davis: Bliss – The Beatitudes, Introduction and Allegro, God Save the Queen (24/96 FLAC)

Composer: Sir Arthur Bliss
Performer: BBC Symphony Chorus, Emily Birsan, Ben Johnson
Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Chandos
Release: 2018
Size: 1.1 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Bliss: The Beatitudes, F. 28
01. Prelude. A Troubled World
02. No. 1, The Mount of Olives
03. No. 2, First and Second Beatitudes
04. No. 3, Easter
05. No. 4, I Got Me Flowers to Strew Thy Way
06. No. 5, Third Beatitude
07. No. 6, The Lofty Looks of Man Shall Be Humbled
08. No. 7, Fourth Beatitude
09. No. 8, The Call
10. Interlude
11. No. 9, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh & Eighth Beatitudes
12. No. 10, And Death Shall Have No Dominion
13. No. 11, Ninth Beatitude
14. Voices of the Mob
15. No. 12, Epilogue. O Blessed Jesu

16. Bliss: Introduction and Allegro

17. anon.: God Save the Queen (arr. A. Bliss for choir and orchestra)

Excelling in recordings of Delius, Elgar, and Holst, Sir Andrew Davis here presents a spirited programme of works by Sir Arthur Bliss. It follows a recording of Morning Heroes that made the top recommendations of 2015; likewise recorded in surround-sound, it conveys the energy of both the exceptional soloists and the impeccable BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. 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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