Review by: David Hurwitz
Artistic Quality: 10
Sound Quality: 10
The Eighth Symphony was the work that brought George Lloyd back into the public eye, thanks to the advocacy of Edward Downes, who later recorded the piece for Lyrita. Everyone who heard it was surprised that a composer of this quality and listener appeal was still alive and kicking, after many years of near-total neglect. The symphony has three big movements, is typically colorfully scored, and sports a full range of arresting melodic ideas. The concluding tarantella must count as one of the most exhilarating finales in any contemporary symphony, and it virtually goes without saying that this performance by the composer himself is just about ideal.
The Philharmonia plays with complete confidence and virtuoso flair, an indication that the music is as much fun to perform as it is to hear. At the same time, it would be a mistake to accuse Lloyd of pandering or writing down to his audience. He is simply a composer fully in command of his own style who knows what he does best, and how to do it. Now that tonality is back in fashion there’s simply no excuse for not giving him the attention that he deserves. Excellent engineering completes the picture. If you’re a fan of brilliant but not too adventurous (meaning painful) contemporary music, then Lloyd’s your guy. [8/17/2006]
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Recording Details:Reference Recording: None
GEORGE LLOYD - Symphony No. 8