English Rhapsody


Released On
4th Oct 2003

Product Code
CD HLL 7503

George Butterworth; Frederick Delius

Sir Mark Elder

James Gilchrist, Tenor
Joseph Taylor, Singer
James Burton, Choral Director
Hallé Choir


1. A Shropshire Lad: Rhapsody for Orchestra
Two English Idylls
2. No.1
3. No.2
4. The Banks of Green Willow (Idyll)

5. Irmelin: Prelude
6. The Walk to the Paradise Garden

Brigg Fair: An English Rhapsody
7. Introduction
8. Theme; Variations 1-6
9. Interlude (slow and very quietly)
10. Variations 7-12; Transition
11. Variations 13-17; Coda

PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961)
12. Brigg Fair
13. Trad. Brigg Fair (recorded 1908)

‘Orchestra the finest I ever heard, Elgar wrote in 1901. You might well be inclined to agree, you feel the Orchestra blooming inside Elder’s grip.’

The Times, April 2003

‘Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since autumn 2000 and has really made his presence felt in Manchester. The Orchestra is enjoying a renaissance. It is a sign of its new confidence that the Orchestra has launched its own CD label. The results are first rate.’

The Guardian, April 2003

The folk song Brigg Fair was collected by Percy Grainger in Lincolnshire in 1905. In the following year, Frederick Delius heard Grainger’s choral setting of the tune and fell in love with the melody. He asked Grainger to allow him to use it for an orchestral rhapsody which was subsequently first performed in 1908, dedicated to Grainger.

Both pieces, plus a recording of Jospeh Taylor singing the song in 1908, are included on this CD.

A Shropshire Lad is dark pastoral indeed, set in a semi-mythical country of “blue remembered hills”. This was Butterworth’s first mature work for orchestra, followed only by a couple more before the composer was killed on the Somme at the age of 31.