The relationship between Welsh composer Daniel Jones and the BBC was a close one. In the third installment of Daniel Jones’s symphonic recordings, Lyrita presents two prime examples.
Symphony No. 3 was completed in 1951 and premiered the following year in a BBC broadcast. David Jones conducted the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra.
Jones’ fifth symphony was commissioned by the BBC in 1958. It, too, was premiered by the composer, this time conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
This release doesn’t include those performances, but it does include two outstanding recordings from the BBC. Bryden Thomson, one of the best interpreters of British symphonic music leads the BBC Welsh Symphony in two studio recordings. (recorded in the BBC studios, of course!)
Jones carved out his own creative space, blending both tonal and atonal concepts. The third symphony has a jagged contour and aggressively dissonant harmonies. And yet there’s an underlining tonal organization that gives the listener something to latch on to.
The fifth symphony seems to lean more towards the tonal — although not too far. Each of Jone’s twelve symphonies is based on a different note of the chromatic scale.
And for Jones, each note had a different character to it. In the case of Symphony No. 5, that character is has a heroic streak to it.
Bryden Thomson understood Jones’ music. And that understanding informs these performances. An excellent addition to the somewhat sparse catalog of Daniel Jones’ works.
Daniel Jones: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 5
BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra; Bryden Thomson, conductor