With this release of this wonderful music by George Lloyd, a composer closely associated with Albany Records from our very beginning, we proudly introduce our first SACD release. This dramatic improvement in sound is perfect for the colorfully scored music of George Lloyd. During his lifetime, George was always very conscious of the audio quality of the recordings of his music. Here at Albany Records, we are certain he would embrace this great advance in sound as just what his music needs. There will be more SACD releases of the music of George Lloyd in the near future.
Both the works recorded here were completed during the last year of Lloyd’s life, although both had been in his mind for some time. He completed his “Cello Concerto” in July 1997, a year before his death at the age of 85. The first page of the composer’s score is inscribed “Have you no pity for those you would destroy?” Those of you who are aware of all the troubles Lloyd had getting his music performed will know something of what this statement means. Those who do not will find the informative program notes, written by his nephew, William Lloyd, most helpful.
Here is a concerto for cello born of the same spirit and tradition as the Elgar Concerto. Anthony Ross is the principal cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra. Lloyd was 25 in 1938, when his second opera The Serf was given its first performances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London. Lloyd himself considered that the opera contained some of his best music, and it was therefore continually frustrating to him that the work did not receive a second hearing. Typically, Lloyd was determined that the music of The Serf would not lie unperformed forever, so he decided to rework sections of the opera into two orchestral suites. By 1997, he was already suffering from the heart failure which eventually killed him, but he worked twelve hours a day for eight weeks, knowing he might not get the work finished, and indeed, the strain of that effort probably did hasten his death.
This recording was made in the great Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and in Super Audio CD sounds magnificent.