Simpson: Symphony No 11 & Variations on a theme by Nielsen

Hyperion’s Record of the Month for August brings the grand finale to our award-winning series of recordings presenting the symphonies of Robert Simpson—hailed by The Independent as ‘surely about the most imposing symphonic cycle in progress’.

Symphony No 11 was composed in 1990 and is dedicated to Matthew Taylor (who here conducts) as a gesture of thanks for his dedication to Simpson’s symphonic works. In two movements, it is scored for a Classical orchestra and continually hints at manners of expression hitherto unprecedented in the history of the modern symphony; all the more tragic therefore that it was to be the conclusion of one of the greatest symphonic cycles of the twentieth century.

Variations on a theme by Nielsen (1983) is based on a tune from a suite of incidental music for a play. As Simpson might have put it, ‘it doesn’t matter if you can’t tell a fifth from a rissole’ for the listener to enjoy this hugely entertaining work—the perfect introduction to those unfamiliar with his orchestral output.

This recording is released with sincere thanks to Angela Simpson, the Robert Simpson Society, the City of London Sinfonia, and all the other companies and individuals who generously contributed to it, and is dedicated to the memory of Ted Perry.

CDA67500  54 minutes 33 seconds
‘Matthew Taylor secures magnificent playing from the City of London Sinfonia, especially in the symphony where his pacing is ideal, due to his knowledge of the work—it was written for him and the orch ...
‘The recordings are entirely worthy of the playing, and of the music. It's hard to imagine a more fitting memorial tribute to Hyperion's Ted Perry, whose faith and tenacity of purpose made this whole ...
‘The performance by the City of London Sinfonia is excellent, the gifted conductor Matthew Taylor (himself a composer) creating the illusion that the piece is already key repertoire and that he's know ...