Highlights from John Socman
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Highlights from Lloyd's nationalistic opera.

In 1949 the Arts Council of Great Britain commissioned three new operas for the Festival of Britain, 1951 - Pilgrim's Progress by Vaughan Williams to be played at Covent Garden; Billy Budd for Sadlers Wells by Benjamin Britten; and John Socman by George Lloyd for the Carl Rosa Opera Company. Lloyd had recently returned from Switzerland where he had been living with his wife's family endeavoring to recover from injuries he had received during World War II. Writing the opera had left him in an exhausted condition; he had been asked to conduct his work but felt he did not have the strength at that time. From then on there were serious production difficulties but in spite of them, the opera toured the country for two years. George Lloyd considered the production both scenically and musically a total disaster and he was so enraged by his treatment that he swore he would never enter an opera house again - a decision he kept for 18 years. His hope had always been that one day the music of John Socman would be presented in the way he thought it should go and for this Albany Records is happy to make available at least some of the opera's principal numbers.
George Lloyd, composer
John Socman (highlights)
Philharmonia Orchestra, George Lloyd, conductor, Janice Watson, Thomas Booth, David Wilson-Johnson, Diana Montague, Michael George, Malcolm Rivers, cast, London Voices Chorus

"...Filled with the broad, striding tunes and colorful orchestrations that are the hallmark of this wonderfully inventive British composer... Lloyd's conducting is vigorous, incisive and at the same time broadly phrased and flowing... the sound quality is superb... recommended for confirmed Lloyd fans." (Fanfare)
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