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Sir John Barbirolli (2 CDs)


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Symphony No.4 ‘Tragic’
Serenade for tenor, horn and strings
Symphony No.2
Gerald English
Hermann Baumann
Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester

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Sir John Barbirolli (1899–1970), born in London of Italian and French parentage, is remembered above all as conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which he helped save from dissolution in 1943 and conducted for the rest of his life. However he was also a guest conductor of many other orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin and the Vienna Philharmonic, and here performs with the WDR. These live recordings have never been released on CD before. Barbirolli never recorded Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn and strings, so this represents a new addition to his large discography. The only other recording Barbirolli made of Schubert’s Symphony No.4 was with the New York Philharmonic in 1939, so this 1969 live performance with the KRSO in excellent stereo is essential for any collector in this great conductor’s work.

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CD 1 52.47



Symphony No.4 in C minor D417 ‘Tragic’

1 I Adagio molto – Allegro vivace 8.14

2 II Andante 8.34

3 III Menuetto: Allegro vivace – Trio 3.20

4 IV Allegro 7.45



Serenade for tenor, horn and strings op.31*

5 Prologue 1.15

6 1. Pastoral (Cotton) 3.57

7 2. Nocturne (Tennyson) 4.25

8 3. Elegy (Blake) 3.37

9 4. Dirge (Anon) 3.41

10 5. Hymn (Jonson) 2.04

11 6. Sonnet (Keats) 4.09

12 Epilogue 1.26


CD 2 45.45



Symphony No.2 in D major op.43

1 I Allegretto 10.38

2 II Tempo andante, ma rubato 14.43

3 III Vivacissimo 6.09

4 IV Finale: Allegro moderato 14.13


*Gerald English tenor

*Hermann Baumann horn

Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester (Now renamed WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln)



Recorded: Saal 1, Funkhaus, Cologne, 7 February 1969

Schubert Symphony No.4 - IV Allegro


Sibelius Symphony No.2 - III Vivacissimo

Martin Kendrick

“...superb singing from Gerald English and a marvellous sense of time-suspended rapture in the closing 'Sonnet' exemplary display of how to generate an enthralling voltage -level from the podium without pulling the music about... ”

BBC Music Magazine

    Martin Kendrick

    “...fully worthy of the conductor at his electrifying best. The stereo sound is excellent too. This is a precious- and inspiring- addition to the Barbirolli discography”

    International Record Review

      Martin Kendrick

      “Barbirolli’s reading of the Sibelius is exceptional even by his own high standards...From the confidently measured opening to the closing measures this is a mighty performance from one of the very best orchestras around...The effect is stunning, a real lump-in-the-throat experience. The recording of all three works is state of the art, crystal clear and dynamic with wide open tuttis.”

      Wholenote Magazine

        Martin Kendrick

        “Barbirolli treats the entire score with a veneration and majesty infused by the special element of an acolyte’s conviction.”

        Audiophile Audition

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