British String Concertos

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"The release of this four-CD set of works for solo string instruments and orchestra pays tribute, as does the recently issued box-set of ‘British String Concertos’, to the imagination and vision of the late Richard Itter and his pioneering Lyrita label...The set makes for fantastic value for money, each CD containing well over 70 minutes of music, and the performances are generally of tremendous vibrancy and quality. Lorraine McAslan’s reading of Coleridge-Taylor’s 1912 Violin Concerto is surely the best recording we have of this much-neglected work and the two Holst works – The Double Concerto for two violins with Emmanuel Hurwitz and Kenneth Sillito and the brooding Lyric Movement for viola and orchestra with Cecil Aronowitz – with their immediacy by no means betray the fact that they were recorded over 40 years ago." Gramophone February 2015

“This four CD box set contains recordings of works previously issued on Lyrita, a label founded in 1959. The four discs contain fourteen British string concertos mainly in analogue recordings with some digital material all recorded between 1972 and 1994… The interesting written booklet notes are by Paul Conway providing helpful if concise information about each work and its composer. These are newly written and differ from those which appeared with the original Lyrita releases. What I find remarkable about everything here is the elevated level of playing and the satisfying recording quality.” Michael Cookson,

“What a splendid idea this is and what an eclectic and affordable collection, putting together fourteen of the cream of Lyrita’s concerto recordings. These were made between 1967 when Imogen Holst was persuaded into the studio through to the 1990s — such an excellent idea… this is an historic collection for all sorts of reasons. These recordings will be listened to for many years to come. The heyday of Lyrita was an extraordinarily rich period for British music and for performers who were committed to it. With Richard Itter, difficult as he apparently was, at the helm and accepting nothing but the highest standards, these are recordings to cherish.” Gary Higginson,

"The famous Lyrita sound, even with recordings going back to the 60s, is here in spades, rich, detailed, still demonstration class. Whatever your taste, this really is an outstanding bargain." FRMS Bulletin, Spring 2015


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