Hamilton Harty, HARTY: An Irish Symphony / With the Wild Geese / In Ireland

James Jolly

By James Jolly

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Classical music, with a touch of green.

Hamilton Harty, one of the greatest musicians Ireland has produced, was also one of the major conductors around the turn of the last century. He worked regularly with the LSO, the Hallé and, as a guest, with the Chicago Symphony. His orchestrations of Handel were, until relatively recently, staples of the symphonic repertoire. As a composer he drew heavily on traditional Irish melodies and folk songs and he was an accomplished orchestrator (though largely self-taught). His "Irish Symphony" draws liberally on such themes and I'm sure that somewhere among its four movements you'll recognise at least one melody. There's a lovely flow to the music that must be as enjoyable to play as it is to listen to. And here's a truly authentic performance: Irish music from an Irish orchestra and Irish conductor!