Sir Arthur Bliss

~ Person


Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss CH KCVO (2 August 1891 – 27 March 1975) was an English composer and conductor.

Bliss's musical training was cut short by the First World War, in which he served with distinction in the army. In the post-war years he quickly became known as an unconventional and modernist composer, but within the decade he began to display a more traditional and romantic side in his music. In the 1920s and 1930s he composed extensively not only for the concert hall, but also for films and ballet.

In the Second World War, Bliss returned to England from the US to work for the BBC and became its director of music. After the war he resumed his work as a composer, and was appointed Master of the Queen's Music.

In Bliss's later years, his work was respected but was thought old-fashioned, and it was eclipsed by the music of younger colleagues such as William Walton and Benjamin Britten. Since his death, his compositions have been well represented on record, and many of his better-known works remain in the repertoire of British orchestras.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1988 Bax: Clarinet Sonata / Bliss: Clarinet Quintet / Vaughan Williams: 6 Studies in English Folksong Bax, Bliss, Vaughan Williams; Janet Hilton, Lindsay String Quartet, Keith Swallow 1
1989 Music for Oboe & Strings Bax, Bliss, Britten; Pamela Woods, Audubon Quartet 1
1991 Morning Heroes (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir feat. conductor: Sir Charles Groves feat. orator: John Westbrook) Arthur Bliss 1
1993 Cello Concerto Arthur Bliss 1
1996 A Colour Symphony / Adam Zero Sir Arthur Bliss; Orchestra of Opera North, David Lloyd-Jones 1
1999 BBC Music, Volume 7, Number 8: Elgar: Froissart / Bliss: Checkmate / Vaughan Williams: Symphony no. 4 Elgar, Bliss, Vaughan Williams; BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Norman Del Mar, Malcolm Arnold 1
2001 Enigma Variations / Pomp and Circumstance Marches / Serenade for Strings Sir Edward Elgar; Los Angeles Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Arthur Bliss 1
2002 Chamber Music, Vol. 1: String Quartets / Conversations Arthur Bliss; Maggini Quartet, Nicholas Daniel, Michael Cox 1
2003 Oboe Quintet / Piano Quartet / Viola Sonata Arthur Bliss; Maggini Quartet, Peter Donohoe, Martin Outram, Nicholas Daniel 1
2005 Checkmate / Mêlée Fantasque Sir Arthur Bliss; Royal Scottish National Orchestra, David Lloyd-Jones 1
2006 Britten & Bliss Britten, Bliss; Vermeer Quartet, Alex Klein 1
2010 Meditations on a Theme by John Blow / Metamorphic Variations Arthur Bliss; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, David Lloyd-Jones 1
A Colour Symphony / Checkmate (Ulster Orchestra, Vernon Handley) Sir Arthur Bliss 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 Piano Concertos Scriabin, Bliss, Liszt; Solomon 1
2001 The Film Music of Sir Arthur Bliss Arthur Bliss 1
2006 A Colour Symphony; Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Sir Arthur Bliss; Лидия Менделевна Мордкович, Richard Hickox & BBC National Orchestra of Wales 2
2007 British Composers: Britten: War Requiem / Bliss: Morning Heroes Benjamin Britten, Sir Arthur Bliss; Elisabeth Söderström, Robert Tear, Sir Thomas Allen, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle, John Westbrook, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Groves 1

EP + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2013 Suite from Things to Come Sir Arthur Bliss, London Symphony Orchestra 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 The Olympians (Ambrosian Singers & Polyphonia Orchestra, feat. conductor: Bryan Fairfax Sir Arthur Bliss 1

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