Arthur Bliss is another example – like Smyth, Bantock and Holbrooke – of a composer whose work (of not inconsiderable merit) has, somehow or other, slipped out of the repertoire. Like Walton he started his career with a reputation as an enfant terrible but then slowly (as happens to so many artists!) metamorphosed into something suspiciously resembling a late romantic. Bliss eventually became sufficiently ‘established’ to be appointed Master of the Queen’s Music in 1953.
Bliss’s chess ballet Checkmate:
Britten’s opus, on the other hand, has thus far survived more or less intact. This week we consider two interpretations of one of his finest and more popular works, the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings.
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