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 Rating Releases
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
1999 BBC Music, Volume 7, Number 8: Elgar: Froissart / Bliss: Checkmate / Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 4 (BBC Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Malcolm Arnold) Elgar / Bliss / Vaughan Williams 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
2005 Checkmate / Mêlée Fantasque Sir Arthur Bliss; Royal Scottish National Orchestra, David Lloyd-Jones 1
2010 Meditations on a Theme by John Blow / Metamorphic Variations (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: David Lloyd-Jones) Arthur Bliss 1
A Colour Symphony / Checkmate (Ulster Orchestra, Vernon Handley) Sir Arthur Bliss 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1991 Piano Concertos Compilation Scriabin, Bliss, Liszt; Solomon 1
2006 A Colour Symphony; Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Compilation Sir Arthur Bliss; Лидия Менделевна Мордкович, Richard Hickox & BBC National Orchestra of Wales 2
2007 British Composers: Britten: War Requiem / Bliss: Morning Heroes Compilation 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

Album + Compilation + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
2001 The Film Music of Sir Arthur Bliss Compilation Soundtrack Arthur Bliss 1

Unspecified type

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

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