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17/11/2010

Leslie Heward conducts... Moeran. Symphony -&- Ireland / Shostakovich (Eileen Joyce), etc. - EMI 1938-1942

Moeran:  Symphony in G minor    /    German: "Nell Gwyn Dances"  /  Elgar: "Salut d'amour"     /  
Dvorak:  Notturno in B major, op.40    /    Lalo:  Aubade no.1.  (London Philharmonic Orchestra)   /  
Sibelius:  "Rakastava" - suite, op.14. &  King Christian II - 'Elegie'  ( String Orchestra )    /    Borodin:  Overture: "Prince Igor"
6 files zip FLAC  Mega Download
John Ireland:  Piano Concerto in E flat     /    Shostakovich:  Concerto for Piano, Trumpet & Strings, op.35* 
Eileen Joyce, piano  -&-  *Arthur Lockwood, trumpet
The Hallé Orchestra  (except Lalo/Sibelius)   conducted by  Leslie Heward     
Maggie Teyte  sings...  Berlioz:  Spectre de la Rose -&- Absence             
Duparc
:  Invitation au voyage -&- Phidyle    (31 July 1940 - from: HMV RLS 716)        4 files zip FLAC  Mega Download
HMV  EM 29 0462 (2LP's)   Reissued 1985.  Matrices: 1 / 1 , 1 / 1    Recording details / 3 pages of sleeve-notes / Gramophone review >>>
"THE GRAMOPHONE" - August 1985
 'Not often does a record company reissue recordings by an almost forgotten artist and it is much to EMI's credit that this set has appeared. Leslie Heward was born in 1897. After serving his conducting apprenticeship in South Africa and with the British National Opera Company, he succeeded his teacher Adrian Boult as conductor of the City of Birmingham Orchestra in 1930. Over the next decade his career blossomed steadily but then tuberculosis first restricted his work and finally claimed his life in 1943. Walter Legge produced all his EMI recordings and wrote his obituary in this magazine (June 1943), describing him as ''musically speaking the most satisfying conductor this country has had since Beecham''.
Apart from the charming and previously unpublished Lalo Aubade with Beecham's LPO—a pendant to Heward's first EMI sessions when he accompanied the pianist Egon Petri—the recordings in this set were all made during the Second World War. The blitz had stopped large-scale recording in London and while nobody could pretend that Heward's Birmingham strings (alias the Leslie Heward String Orchestra) or the Halle were great orchestras, they play for heward with great spirit, straining every muscle, it seems, to do their bit in the war effort; for music in the home was regarded then as an important means of relaxation.
Heward had directed the first performance of the Moeran Symphony in 1938 and for years later the work was chosen by the British Council for its first venture into the sponsorship of recordings. Moeran himself attended the sessions and observed how ill Heward was in his last work for the gramophone, but there is no sign of any weakness in a gloriously impassioned and glowing account of the score. In those less sophisticated days the Halle could play the Nell Gwyn Dances with almost the same innocent charm that characterizes German's own First World War recordings. And how exciting the Prince Igor Overture is, with challengingly fast tempos and bouncy rhythms: energy and single-minded sincerity are qualities which shine through all the performances collected here. The Ireland concerto suits Eileen Joyce better than the Shostakovich, where both her playing and the recording lack a quality of glitter the work needs.
The early 1940s were understandably not a vintage period for EMI's recording techniques but Peter Bown has produced good transfers from commercial pressings. With DMM providing four long sides and informative notes by Lyndon Jenkins this set has much to offer.'