Mackenzie: Orchestral Music

Mackenzie: Orchestral Music

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)


When a composer such as Sir Alexander Mackenzie drops out of the repertoire, revival tends to send people in search of influences in order to identify the newly discovered phenomenon. At a distance of a century and more, these identifications are frequently mistaken. Mackenzie’s work has been pardoned for being Elgarian. In fact, not unnaturally, it was the younger Elgar who was Mackenzian: ‘My meeting with the great man was the event of my musical life’, wrote Elgar in 1931 in an article as fulsome in its praise of Mackenzie’s music as of his influence as conductor, teacher and administrator, referring to him as ‘the revered head of our art in this country’. The praise was thoroughly deserved.

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