The music of George Lloyd: Selected press reviews.
John Ireland, writing in 1934, was in no doubt about the value of Lloyd’s first opera Iernin:
“I have no hesitation in saying that this is quite the most remarkable work produced by a British composer during the last 20 years, whether in the form of opera, or other musical forms. The composer of this work has a unique talent, which one may well suppose to be Genius, sparing as one must be in one's use of that word. It is entirely fresh and original in inspiration, and shows clearly not only great power but also an intense sense of beauty, and a deep emotional and imaginative sense. There is no doubt at all that this truly remarkable work will be accepted, wherever it is heard, for what it actually is - a great opera, and a splendid piece of music.”
Musical Opinion agreed: “One does not recall any opera that reflects more truly and individually the Genius of these Isles than 'Iernin.' Its outstanding quality is its Englishness, and one has to go to 'Hugh the Drover' for anything approaching it in national outlook and freshness of style. A great and memorable undertaking, which non present will readily forget.”
As Henry Farjeon put it in the Monthly Musical Review: “To have collected Covent Garden Opera House and the Lyceum Theatre before the age of 26 is not bad for a young composer. George Lloyd lives, breathes and exhales opera, and in this he is unique.”
Reviewing his symphonies, Gramophone magazine strikes the same tone: “A major achievement among our own century’s symphonists. Lloyd is a master orchestrator.” and “If there is a greater living symphonist I would much like to hear his music.”and “In 1951 they wrote him off as a reactionary; I prefer to think he was ahead of his time.”
Tempo, the journal of Twentieth Century music, wrote: “I have not the slightest doubt that this tremendous symphony should force anyone who cares about the European symphonic tradition to take Lloyd seriously as a major contributor to it.”
“One of the great works to come out of the English Choral tradition. Urgently recommended.” Fanfare
The Times wrote: “On my left an elderly man in tweeds shouted "a masterpiece" and sprang to his feet. On my right a Scots lass exclaimed "I'll certainly be buying a CD of that". Not often does new music have this effect. Respectful tolerance is common, but monster raving loony ecstasy? This can only mean one thing - a George Lloyd World Premiere!”
"A composer with so much to say that is pertinent to our time, capable of expressing it with such vigour, candour and skill, must be accounted a vital creative force in contemporary English music.”
Liverpool Daily Post
"Passionately English ... like Strauss translated.” Penguin Stereo Record Guide
"Evidently a master of the romantic orchestra." New Yorker
"A landmark of post-modernist music. A great work by any measure"
Which CD ‘Best Orchestral Recording’