Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
This CD of Robert Simpson's First and Eighth brings us almost to the end of our Simpson Symphony Series. (Only No 11 remains to be recorded.) No 1 has been recorded before (in 1954 by Sir Adrian Boult, its dedicatee, and the LPO) but that recording has never been issued on CD so this is the work's début in the medium.
The Eighth from 1981 has never been recorded before and performances have been few. In two bipartite sections, it is Simpson at his most intense: a mighty work indeed.
All of the music on this album is also available as part of the specially priced box set The Complete Symphonies of Robert Simpson: ‘One of the outstanding recording projects of our time … this Hyperion series deserves to stand as a monument while other more superficially glamorous ventures rise and fall around it. If it does not do so, and if it does not eventually force Simpson’s breakthrough into the orchestral repertoire, there will truly be no justice’ (Gramophone).