Lloyd's works for violin were written in the late 1970s and were the outcome of his renewed interest in the instrument. As a result of his war injuries he had been unable to play: the muscles and nerves of his left hand had become partly uncontrollable and remained that way until his general health improved many years later. For over 30 years he had almost no contact with musicians, with the exception of pianist John Ogdon, and his need for direct contact with sound other than what was in his head led him to take his fiddle out of its case at to see what would happen. He said himself that playing once again became an obsession, and despite the great difficulties in trying to regain an adequate technique, love for the violin completely devoured him. The result was a considerable amount of violin music, much of it unaccompanied, which he later destroyed.
This Air for Violin is a simple cantilena, reminding us that the violin is above all an incomparable singing instrument. This was Tasmin Little’s first commercial recording, made in 1989.
George Lloyd - Requiem - Audio Track
For Counter-tenor, choir and organ
George Lloyd's last work, completed a few weeks before his death.
This disc will be a compulsory acquisition for any Lloyd fan but it will also be lovingly appreciated by any admirer of the vocal music of Faure, Rutter or Holst. A lovely remembrance of a warm-hearted composer who wrote against the spirit of the times and whose music finally met success. His was a dazzling creativity that reached its apex in Symphonies No. 4 to no. 7 and the Pervigilium Veneris
Requiescat in pacem. Rob Barnett
'Calma' from 'November Journeys'
For 13 Brass instruments
Written after a train journey through England, visiting various cathedrals.
…this is a substantial brass work, one with a significantly wider range of colour and depth of emotion than one normally finds in this medium… winningly conducted by the composer .. the BBC Philharmonic clearly has a deep devotion for this man and his music … Albany’s sound quality is rich and warm … Fanfare
… an imposing piece, skilfully written for brass alone, personal, underivative and as accessible as anything he has written … Which CD
George Lloyd writes: "During the summer of 1972 I wrote a number of piano pieces. I had been watching the yellow-robed, shaven-headed, chanting, bell-ringers dancing up and down Oxford Street, London.On the title page of "The Road through Samarkand" I added, "...with burning hearts they danced their way from Calais to Calcutta, but what did they find?".
The boisterous Road through Samarkand is a splashy and highly inventive toccata, written as a bravura solo piece for virtuoso John Ogdon, who gave the premiere performance in New York in 1972. The piece has been brilliantly expanded for the present performers, It has catchy syncopated touches but ends disconsolately (although with a final surge of energy) as the travellers fail to find salvation in the East. Played by Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow
John G Deacon of Conifer Records commissioned a recital and recording of rare English songs by the late Elizabeth Harwood. He asked George Lloyd to write a song for Elizabeth and Lloyd obliged with a setting of "Wantage Bells" a poem by John Betjeman.
The copyright in the recording now belongs to The Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Trust, and Elizabeth's husband Julian Royle has kindly agreed to allow us to make the recording available to members of the George Lloyd Society Society.
Originally issued on vinyl LP CFRA 120, which is no longer available.
There is a beautiful holograph of the text of the poem, written on a watercolour painting by Betjeman himself, in the University of Victoria Library. The holograph can be magnified and downloaded, and Elizabeth Harwood's singing makes a fine accompaniment when studying the picture. Link to Betjeman drawing here: