Richard Rodney Bennett: Orchestral Works, Volume 4

June 3, 2020, 9:00 am

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In this fourth volume in their Richard Rodney Bennett series, John Wilson and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra turn to his Piano Concerto of 1968. The soloist here, Michael McHale, gives a virtuosic performance. Commissioned in 1982 for the sixtieth anniversary of the BBC, Anniversaries is the other major work on this recording. A brilliantly virtuosic concerto for orchestra, the eleven-section work loosely follows the form of a theme and variations. Dedicated to his close friend Irwin Bazelon who was also sixty that year, the score is a playful and joyous celebration, as well as an orchestral tour de force. In the 1990s, Bennett immersed himself in English Renaissance and Baroque music. The Country Dances (Book 1) are based on folk dances from John Playford’s anthology The English Dancing Master.