William Wordsworth: Orchestral Music, Volume One

Catalogue No: TOCC0480
EAN/UPC: 5060113444806
Release Date: 2018-06-01
Composer: William Wordsworth
Artists: John Gibbons, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra

The music of London-born William Wordsworth (1908–88) – a great-great-grandson of the poet’s brother Christopher – lies downstream from that of Vaughan Williams and Sibelius. Like that of his contemporary Edmund Rubbra, Wordsworth’s music unfolds spontaneously, as a natural process, with a sense of grandeur perhaps enhanced by his move to the Scottish Highlands in 1961. Three of the four works recorded here display the sober dignity of the instinctive symphonist; the Variations on a Scottish Theme reveal a sly sense of humour behind the serious countenance.

Liepāja Symphony Orchestra
John Gibbons, conductor

Listen To This Recording:

    Divertimento in D, Op. 58 (1954)

  1. I Overture
  2. II Air
  3. III Gigue
  4. Symphony No. 4 in E flat, Op. 54 (1953)

  5. Poco adagio – Allegro
  6. Variations on a Scottish Theme, Op. 72 (1962)

  7. Theme: Allegretto (♩. = c. 72)
  8. Variation 1
  9. Variation 2: ♩. = c. 72 or may be poco meno mosso
  10. Variation 3: ♩ = 108?
  11. Variation 4: L’istesso tempo
  12. Variation 5: Adagio espressivo
  13. Variation 6: Tempo I (72)
  14. Variation 7: ♩ = 108
  15. Variation 8: Andante espressivo
  16. Variation 9: Tempo I
  17. Symphony No. 8, Pax Hominibus, Op. 117 (1986)

  18. I ♪ = 69 – Animato
  19. II Allegro – Meno mosso
  20. III Allegro – Meno mosso (with alternative ending)


2 reviews for William Wordsworth: Orchestral Music, Volume One

  1. :

    ‘Wordsworth’s music has a particular sound (there are some similarities to the music of another contemporary, William Alwyn) and under the direction of John Gibbons, the Liepaja Symphony gets that just right. The strings especially provide the kind of granitic and particulate playing needed for this music. As I said above, these pieces provide plenty of solo passages and are all are ably performed by the members of the Liepaja orchestra. John Gibbons ably deals with Wordsworth’s many sudden rhythmic changes and always keeps things moving. […]

    I hope that Toccata Classics will give us Volume Two soon. Wordsworth is an important composer whose music should be heard and there is no better way to assure this than for all his orchestral music to be available to listeners.’

    —William Kreindler, MusicWeb International

  2. :

    ‘William Wordsworth was a composer with much to say and his music is well worth hearing. John Gibbons and the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra give accomplished and committed performances and I take off my hat to the versatility shown by the members of the orchestra, to whom this must surely have been completely unknown music. The recorded sound is fully satisfactory.’

    —John Quinn, MusicWeb International

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