Bacewicz, Enescu, Ysaÿe: Music for Strings Sinfonia of London & John Wilson

Cover Bacewicz, Enescu, Ysaÿe: Music for Strings

Album info



Label: Chandos

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Orchestral

Artist: Sinfonia of London & John Wilson

Composer: Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969), George Enescu (1881-1955), Eugene Ysaye (1858-1931)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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FLAC 96 $ 14.50
  • George Enescu (1881 - 1955): Octet, Op. 7 (Arr. for String Orchestra by Wilson, Lovell-Jones & Nelson):
  • 1Enescu: Octet, Op. 7 (Arr. for String Orchestra by Wilson, Lovell-Jones & Nelson): I. Très modéré12:50
  • 2Enescu: Octet, Op. 7 (Arr. for String Orchestra by Wilson, Lovell-Jones & Nelson): II. Très fougueux07:49
  • 3Enescu: Octet, Op. 7 (Arr. for String Orchestra by Wilson, Lovell-Jones & Nelson): III. Lentement09:03
  • 4Enescu: Octet, Op. 7 (Arr. for String Orchestra by Wilson, Lovell-Jones & Nelson): IV. Mouvement de Valse bien rythmée08:13
  • Eugène Ysaÿe (1858 - 1931): Harmonies du soir, Op. 31:
  • 5Ysaÿe: Harmonies du soir, Op. 3115:07
  • Graźnya Bacewicz (1909 - 1969): Concerto for String Orchestra:
  • 6Bacewicz: Concerto for String Orchestra: I. Allegro – L'istesso tempo04:56
  • 7Bacewicz: Concerto for String Orchestra: II. Andante04:17
  • 8Bacewicz: Concerto for String Orchestra: III. Vivo04:20
  • Total Runtime01:06:35

Info for Bacewicz, Enescu, Ysaÿe: Music for Strings

For this their fourth album of music for string orchestra, John Wilson and Sinfonia of London present a programme of works by three composers from the Franco-Belgian school of string pedagogy, who were all themselves virtuosic string players. George Enescu studied in Paris and Vienna, spent much of his life in France, and was internationally lauded as a concert violinist and conductor in both Europe and America. Much of his music remained unknown after his death – a situation improved thanks to some high-profile champions of his work, not least his most famous pupil Yehudi Menuhin. When Enescu supplied a preface for a new edition of his Octet, in 1950, he sanctioned its performance by a full string orchestra, the form in which we hear it on this recording. Completed in 1924, Ysaÿe’s Harmonies du soir is scored for string quartet and string orchestra, enabling Ysaÿe to exploit the contrast between intimate and full string sound, a technique inspired by Vaughan Williams in his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis. Affectionately known as the ‘First Lady of Polish Music’, Grazyna Bacewicz was an outstanding virtuoso violinist, a formidable pianist, and ground-breaking composer. A great deal of her output was written for strings, including the Concerto for String Orchestra, written in 1948. Often described as neoclassical, the work takes some inspiration from the baroque concerto grosso, but is distinctly modern in its harmonic language and was particularly admired by Lutoslawski.

“… Perfume wafts over the fin de siècle chromaticism of Ysaÿe’s harmonies du soir … and that suits the SoL’s swooning little glissandos and sepia-toned romance, while some of the withdrawn playing is highly effective. In a very different way, the ensemble also get to the heart of Bacewicz at her most strident and neoclassical in the 1948 Concerto for String Orchestra so admired by her peers…” (Gramophone Magazine)

Sinfonia of London
John Wilson, conductor

The Sinfonia of London
is the name of two distinct session orchestras based in London, England. The original ensemble of this name was founded in 1955 by Gordon Walker, an eminent flautist of his time, specifically for the recording of film music. The orchestra appeared on the musical credits of many British and American films of the 1950s and 60s.

Among the original ensemble’s most celebrated commercial classical recordings is its 1963 recordings with Sir John Barbirolli conducting the Serenade for Strings of Edward Elgar and the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis of Ralph Vaughan Williams for EMI Classics and the 1958 soundtrack album from the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Vertigo with Bernard Herrmann’s score conducted by Muir Mathieson (Mercury Records). The label World Record Club released an Lp (WRC T 11) of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and the Egmont Overture with Hans Swarowsky conducting the ensemble. The original orchestra ceased to perform during the 1960s.

In 1982 the title Sinfonia of London was bought by Peter Willison and Howard Blake from the Walker family for the purpose of having a named orchestra for the first recording of The Snowman. In February 1998, Bruce Broughton was named the orchestra’s second musical director after Blake. Under Peter Willison’s management, the orchestra went on to record many soundtracks for major Hollywood films, including Batman, The Mummy Returns, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Lost in Space, The Lawnmower Man, Stargate, Tombstone, RoboCop and Young Sherlock Holmes.

John Wilson
is in demand at the highest level across the globe, working with some of the finest orchestras and opera houses. In the UK, he performs regularly at festivals such as Aldeburgh, Glyndebourne and the BBC Proms with orchestras such as London Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony and City of Birmingham Symphony. Elsewhere, he has conducted the Royal Concertgebouw, Budapest Festival, Swedish Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony orchestras amongst others. In the 2019/20 season, Wilson makes his debut with the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Basel Symphony orchestras and his return engagements include DSO Berlin, BBC Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestra

Wilson made his opera debut in 2016 conducting Madama Butterfly at Glyndebourne Festival Opera on their autumn tour and has since conducted Porgy and Bess at English National Opera and returned to Glyndebourne Summer Festival to conduct Massent Cendrillon. He will be making his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, in a future season.

Wilson has a large and varied discography which includes a series of discs with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra exploring the works of Richard Rodney Bennett, with the BBC Philharmonic devoted to the symphonic works of Aaron Copland and numerous recordings with the John Wilson Orchestra. In 2019 Chandos released Wilson’s first recording with the Sinfonia of London which features Korngold’s Symphony in F Sharp.

Born in Gateshead, Wilson studied composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music, where in 2011 he was made a Fellow. In 1994, he formed his own orchestra, the John Wilson Orchestra, dedicated to performing music from the golden age of Hollywood and Broadway, and with whom he has appeared regularly across the UK. In March 2019, John Wilson was awarded the prestigious ISM Distinguished Musician Award for his services to music.

Booklet for Bacewicz, Enescu, Ysaÿe: Music for Strings

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