Philip Spratley: Orchestral Music, Volume Two

Philip Spratley: Orchestral Music

This second Toccata Classics recording of music by Philip Spratley, born in Nottinghamshire in 1942, opens with the atmospheric orchestral suite Cargoes, inspired by John Masefield's famous poem, and continues with a sparkling folksong medley based on fiddle tunes by another poet, John Clare. The main work here, Spratley's Third Symphony, which had its initial impulses in visits to North Wales and Jerusalem, traces a path from tension to triumph.

Siberian Symphony Orchestra, orchestra
Dmitry Vasilyev, conductor

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Catalogue No: TOCC0194
EAN/UPC: 5060113441942
Release Date: 02.12.2013
Composer: Philip Spratley
Artists: Dmitry Vasilyev, Siberian Symphony Orchestra

Listen To This Recording:

    Cargoes: Suite for Orchestra after John Masefield (2010–12)

  1. I Quinquereme: Allegretto – Allegro – Allegretto
  2. II Stately Spanish Galleon: Andante – Alla sarabande – Andante
  3. III Dirty British Coaster: Allegro
  4. A Helpston Fantasia (2010)
  5. Symphony No. 3, Sinfonia Pascale (2009)

  6. I Allegro tempestoso
  7. II Nocturne: Adagio – Allegretto – Adagio
  8. III Chaconny: Maestoso – Poco Allegro

6 reviews for Philip Spratley: Orchestral Music, Volume Two

  1. :

    “[Cargoes: Suite for Orchestra after John Masefield (2010-12)] Spratley has a very distinctive style of orchestration with constantly shifting colours. …I love the way Spratley uses the piano to underpin the orchestra. …This is an immensely enjoyable and brilliantly orchestrated work. [A Helpston Fantasia (2010)] This is a beautifully crafted piece that deserves to have many performances. This recording is its first performance. [Symphony No. 3 ‘Sinfonia Pascale’ (2009)] Again Spratley’s orchestration is most skilfully done with various instruments being allowed to take the theme, never allowing an opportunity to pass to add colour and texture. …This is a considerable work, unashamedly tonal yes, but expertly done. There is some terrific playing from the Siberian Symphony Orchestra under Dmitry Vasiliev.” The Classical Reviewer

  2. :

    “…[Cargoes] The Impressionist aspect does in fact blossom into what sounds to me like a reminiscence of or reference to Debussy’s La mer; counterpointing this is the characteristically English breadth, and accent, to some of the long-breathed melodies. …There is some lovely woodwind playing here from the Siberian players, beautifully balanced in recording terms. …[A Helpston Fantasia] The piece itself is intriguing: After the opening’s nice feeling of stately pageantry, the material becomes remarkably varied, yet somehow manages to operate under an overarching umbrella of inevitability, perhaps because of the underlying consistency of Spratley’s compositional language. …[The Third Symphony] Spratley’s construction and imagination are remarkable, and the performance is virtuosic… The climax is highly effective and once more provides an example of expert scoring: Even at higher dynamic levels, several lines can happily coexist without any muddying. …Toccata Classics once more deserves our gratitude for bringing a most worthwhile composer to our attention. This reviewer, a hardened Modernist, found great joy here.” Fanfare

  3. :

    “The adventurous Toccata label gives us a second volume of English composer Philip Spratley’s (b.1942, see 27 November 2009) orchestral oeuvre, which should have great appeal for those liking Vaughan Williams’ (1872-1958) music. …performances are energetic in keeping with Spratley’s young at heart style, yet sensitive and passionate in his more reflective moments.” Classical Lost and Found

  4. :

    “…As the selection of works on this recording demonstrates, he writes in a broad range of styles, making it difficult to summarily describe his music. What I can say, however, is that Spratley’s music sounds very British. We can hear in his music the serious sides of Vaughan Williams, Arnold and Britten as well as the light classics scores of Delius, Butterworth and Grainger. He has absorbed much of what is significant and enduring from music composed in the U.K. during the past century. …Special mention must be made of the Siberian orchestra’s brass section who handles Spratley’s demanding writing with assurance and authority. This is a very enjoyable album…” Expedition Audio

  5. :

    “…Philip Spratley’s most attractive moments are his slow ones, especially the delicate opening movement of the Cargoes Suite, which has a tinge of Vaughan Williams, and the Nocturne of the symphony, a full-throated hymn. There is a great deal of folkloric, dance-like music as well, colorful if a bit square, all of it played with verve and intensity by the Siberian Symphony and recorded in vivid sonics at Omsk Philharmonic Hall, obviously a superb venue. The bass, particularly timpani and lower brass, really packs a wallop.” American Record Guide

  6. :

    Hi Martin, Been listening to Spratley 3 all week. Bloomin’ marvellous. A Holstian symphony in the great British tradition, perhaps? Many congratulations too for entrusting it to the Omsk players/Vasiliev. World-class performance. Warmest good wishes, Alan

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