Hallé Orchestra & Sir John Barbirolli – Rubbra: Symphony No. 5, Op. 63 (Remastered) (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 33:21 minutes | 642 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Warner Classics
Edmund Rubbra established his reputation with his first four Symphonies. But in many ways, Rubbra’s Fifth Symphony may be considered his most immediately attractive. It was premiered on 26 January, 1949 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Adrian Boult at the Royal Albert Hall, but it was Sir John Barbirolli and the Hallé Orchestra’s recording of the work under the auspices of the British Council – the first recording of any Symphony by Rubbra – which had a notable impact and substantially reinforced the composer’s name internationally.
The recording was made in December 1950 at EMI’s No.1 Studio in Abbey Road, London, with Rubbra present. Early commentators were at one in their admiration of Rubbra’s Fifth Symphony, The Times critic in particular singling out the impression that the symphony ‘accords with the famous definition that music is thinking in sound without concepts’, continuing that the ‘slow movement has a grave beauty that is impressive.’ Many also naturally referred to the solo horn tune which opens the Scherzo, noting its genuine instantaneous memorability.
For such a work, no finer choice of interpreter could have been chosen than Barbirolli: the composer himself was forever fulsome in his praise of Barbirolli, and on more than one occasion said of his deep appreciation for what the conductor and his orchestra had revealed.
01. Rubbra: Improvisations on Virginal Pieces by Giles Farnaby, Op. 50: No. 4, Loth to depart
02. Rubbra: Symphony No. 5 in B-Flat Marjor, Op. 63: I. Adagio – Allegro energico
03. Rubbra: Symphony No. 5 in B-Flat Marjor, Op. 63: II. Allegro moderato
04. Rubbra: Symphony No. 5 in B-Flat Marjor, Op. 63: III. Grave
05. Rubbra: Symphony No. 5 in B-Flat Marjor, Op. 63: IV. Allegro vivo – Adagio