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CHAN 10194M
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CHAN 10194
(multiple CD Set)

Harty: Complete Orchestral Works

The Classical Shop
release date: April 2004

Originally recorded in 2003


Ulster Orchestra

Bryden Thomson

Malcolm Binns


Heather Harper


Ralph Holmes



Ulster Hall, Belfast


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Record Label
Chandos Classics


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 224:14
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Violin Concerto (1908)*

  in D minor - in d-Moll - en ré mineur  
1 I Allegro deciso 12:26
2 II Molto lento 11:07
3 III Allegro con brio 9:34

Piano Concerto (1922)†

  in B minor - in h-Moll - en si mineur  
4 I Allegro risoluto 14:07
5 II Tranquillo e calmo 9:44
6 III Con brio e vivace 13:45

The Children of Lir (1938)‡

  Poem for orchestra  
7 Introduction - 4:34
8 Allegro brioso ed animato - 4:47
9 The swan-children - 2:31
10 Calm seas and blue skies - 2:00
11 Approach of the evening - 6:07
12 Allegro brio ed animato - 6:06
13 Transformation, baptism and death 5:43

Variations on a Dublin Air (1912)*

14 Introduction and Theme - 3:45
15 Variation I - 1:01
16 Variation II - 1:03
17 Variation III - 2:11
18 Variation IV - 0:39
19 Variation V - 1:55
20 Varation VI - 2:01
21 Varation VII - 3:44

The Londonderry Air (1924)

  Pan Hon Lee violin  

Ode to a Nightingale (1907)‡

  for Soprano and Orchestra  
23 [Introduction] - 1:42
24 'My heart aches' - 2:36
25 'O for a draught of vintage!' - 2:02
26 '. . .and quite forget' - 4:03
27 'Already with thee!' - 4:20
28 'Darkling I listen' - 4:06
29 'Forlorn!' - 0:54
30 'Adieu! Adieu!' 2:45

A Comedy Overture (1906, revised 1908)


An Irish Symphony (1904, revised 1915 and 1924)

32 I On the Shores of Lough Neagh: Allegro molto 13:13
33 II The Fair Day: Vivace ma non troppo presto 3:08
34 III In the Antrim Hills: Lento ma non troppo 7:21
35 IV The Twelfth of July: Con molto brio 10:10

In Ireland (1935)

  Fantasy for Flute, Harp and Orchestra  
  Colin Fleming flute  
  Denice Kelly harp  
  Moderato con passione  

With the Wild Geese (1910)

37 Introduction - 1:45
38 Soldiers' life abroad - 6:58
39 The night before the battle - 4:22
40 Battle - 4:51
41 Return home 2:16
 Heather Harper soprano‡
 Ralph Holmes violin*
 Malcolm Binns piano†
 Bryden Thomson
  June 1979 (Violin Concerto) & April & May 1983 (Piano Concerto)  
  3-4 October 1981 (The Children of Lir & Ode to a Nightingale, June 1979 (Variations on a Dublin Air & The Londonderry Air)  
  4-5 Octoer 1980 (An Irish Symphony & A Comedy Overture) & April & May 1983 (In Ireland & With the Wild Geese)  
Chandos’ popular recording of music by this Irish composer is now available on its Classics mid-price label.

All the music here is colourfully orchestrated and crammed full of memorable tunes.

This box set is by far the most comprehensive collection of Harty’s orchestral works available.

Harty was taught music in Ireland by his father and held down various organist’s posts there until 1901 when he moved to London. He soon became known as a promising composer and an outstanding accompanist. In the following years he gained great success with his compositions, whilst establishing himself as a conductor, through his associations with the London Symphony and Hallé orchestras. Renowned for his mercurial and witty personality, Harty introduced many new composers and works to the concert hall: the music of Bax, Sibelius, Casella, Berlioz, Moeran, Walton and Strauss featured prominently in his programmes. He conducted many great premieres including that of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde. He was knighted in 1925.

Many of Harty’s works have a strong Irish flavour through use of Irish tunes or the idioms of folk music, as in An Irish Symphony. Links to the country of Harty’s birth are also apparent in his use of ‘programmes’ based on historical or legendary events, as in With the Wild Geese, a tone poem based on the story of the Irish regiments who fought for the French in the battle of Fontenoy (1745), or The Children of Lir, based on the Irish legend of the four children of King Lir who were turned into white swans by a jealous stepmother.

Harty was one of the most eminent conductors of his day and the quality of his composition, and particularly his orchestration, is universally acknowledged. It is therefore puzzling that Harty’s romantic, richly evocative music is not better represented in the catalogue. It is hoped that these recordings will go some way towards redressing the balance.

"...The performances are excellent, and thev ery appealing Variations on a Dublin Air and Harty’s arrangement of the haunting Londonderry Air have bee added as a most enjoyable bonus on this CD."

The Penguin Guide – 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

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