Charles O'Brien: Complete Orchestral Music, Vol. 2

Charles O'Brien: Complete Orchestral Music, Vol. 2

Charles O'Brien - To Spring: Concert Overture, Op. 4
Charles O'Brien - The Minstrel’s Curse: Concert Overture, Op. 7
Charles O'Brien - Mazurka
Charles O'Brien - Berceuse
Charles O'Brien - Scottish Scenes, Op. 17

Artists

Liepāja Symphony Orchestra
Paul Mann, conductor

Publisher

TOCCATA CLASSICS

Year

2016

Where to buy

toccataclassics.com

REVIEWS

“O’Brien’s music sounds as if someone had discovered a pile of lost scores by the Greenock-born composer Hamish MacCunn… it is an admirable rule of thumb for judging the quality of music in this CD. … At bottom line this is music from a composer who was influenced by the romantic school of music but who was tinged with a number of indigenous felicities. … [Mazurka and Berceuse (1898):] The Mazurka is a pleasant little piece that could have been composed by Eduard or Josef Strauss. The scoring of the Berceuse had to be reworked by Mann… The end result is a charming piece of light music. … The three scenes [Scottish Scenes, op.17] present musical pictures of Scotland. Moorland is dark and brooding, yet with an unexpected warmth for such a dramatic landscape. The Voice of the Glen is like a Celtic mother calling to her children from afar. … Harvest Home is a Scottish country dance. All the stops are pulled out for this vigorous and vivacious finale. Charles O’Brien has succeeded in giving a musical portrait of Scotland that does not depend on clichés from the music hall or cinema screen. Admittedly, there are a number of Scotch snaps and melodies that nod to Scottish folksong yet, he has managed to absorb the landscape into his heart and soul. … The musical language used to portray this story [The Minstrel’s Curse] is that of Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Liszt. I loved this ‘concert overture’. … the music is always interesting, exciting, dramatic and disturbing. … Whatever the inspiration for O’Brien’s work To Spring: Concert Overture, op.4, it is delightful, if a little old-fashioned. It deserves a place in the repertoire. … The Latvian orchestra plays with enthusiasm and seem to have a definite flair for evoking the mists and sceneries of Scotland. … This is an excellent CD dedicated to an undiscovered Scottish composer.”

John France, Music Web International, April 2016
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