The British Lyrita label was started in 1959. Its early recordings were mostly of piano music, but later on, in conjunction with Decca, the company began to release orchestral recordings, all but one of music by British composers. In the 1970s, the recordings were released in the US on the HNH and Musical Heritage Society labels. Since Decca engineers were involved, several of the sessions were audiophile efforts and highly prized by vinyl collectors. A few appeared on CD some years ago. Now, produced by the Wyastone Estate, there are new Lyrita CDs. Wyastone promises the entire catalog in the next three years.
The most-recorded conductor on Lyrita in the '60s and '70s was Sir Adrian Boult. Many of this maestros best later-life recordings were made for Lyrita. The three I have picked are a good representation of Boults work. Every time Boult presided, the music seemed to progress in a flowing and logical way. He got all of the London-based orchestras to play at the peak of their powers.
One of the highlights here is Moerans Symphony, with its aura of English countryside. This striking work should be heard more often, but is usually dismissed for the serious concert hall as the composers roots were considered to be in English folk music. Among the many compositions on the Ireland disc is a remarkable suite from the Sir Charles Mackerras-edited soundtrack score for the movie The Overlanders. The finale, "Night Stampede," with its incredibly written (and played) horn passages is one of the finest moments in all film music.
As indicated above, the recordings vary a bit, but are never less than very good, and often much better than that.
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