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ARTHUR BLISS

Arthur Bliss, having been knighted in 1950, was Master of the Queen’s Music in Great Britain from 1953 until his death. After a period in which he embraced a more radical approach to composition, he eventually followed the late-Romantic tradition of English music established by Elgar. In accordance with the perceived duties of his official position, he wrote various ceremonial pieces, in addition to music for the concert hall, theatre and cinema.

Film Music

Familiar music by Bliss includes excerpts from his film score for HG Wells’s Things to Come and the patriotic march Welcome the Queen, also written for a film.

Stage Works

The ballets Checkmate (an allegorical game of chess, with choreography by Ninette de Valois), Miracle in the Gorbals (a morality play set in the slums of Glasgow, with choreography by Robert Helpmann) and Adam Zero (another Helpmann production, of 1946) made a strong impression on ballet audiences. Bliss was less successful with his opera The Olympians, a collaboration with JB Priestley, but his television opera of 1960, Tobias and the Angel, was well received.

Choral and Orchestral Music

Bliss enjoyed a reputation as a very competent conductor, and was therefore familiar with orchestral music both as conductor and composer. His compositions include A Colour Symphony (movements taking various hues), a Piano Concerto for Solomon, a Violin Concerto for Campoli, and, in 1970, a Cello Concerto for Rostropovich. His moving choral and orchestral work Morning Heroes was written in memory of his brother and all who had fallen in the Great War, in which he had also served. It makes use of melodrama, an orator speaking the chosen texts.

Chamber Music

Bliss’s chamber music ranges from string quartets to works with wind instruments. In particular he wrote a Clarinet Quintet, an Oboe Quintet, Conversations for wind instruments and string trio, a Viola Sonata and a Piano Quartet, all of which contribute usefully to chamber-music repertoire.

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
20th Century British Orchestral Masterpieces Naxos 8.505077
Naxos Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Box Set Naxos 8.506013
The Seasons Naxos 8.504038

View by Role: Classical Composer | Conductor
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BAX / BLISS: Oboe Quintets / BRITTEN: Phantasy Quartet BIS
BIS-CD-763
Chamber Music
BEETHOVEN / BLISS: Piano Concertos (Solomon) (1943-1944) Naxos Historical
8.110682
Concertos
BLISS, A.: Christopher Columbus Suite / Seven Waves Away / Men of 2 Worlds (Slovak Radio Symphony, Adriano) Naxos
8.572226
Film and TV Music
BLISS, A.: Meditations on a Theme by John Blow / Metamorphic Variations (Bournemouth Symphony, Lloyd-Jones) Naxos
8.572316
Orchestral
BLISS, A.: Miracle in the Gorbals (excerpts) / Music for Strings (Philharmonia Orchestra, Bliss) (1954) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80747
Orchestral
BLISS: Cello Concerto / Music for Strings / Two Studies Naxos
8.553383
Orchestral, Concertos, Orchestral
BLISS: Checkmate / Melee Fantasque Naxos
8.557641
Orchestral, Ballet
BLISS: Christopher Columbus / Seven Waves Away Marco Polo
8.223315
Film and TV Music
BLISS: Clarinet Quintet / String Quartet No. 2 Naxos
8.557394
Chamber Music
BLISS: Colour Symphony (A) / Adam Zero Naxos
8.553460
Orchestral, Ballet
BLISS: Colour Symphony / HINDEMITH: Symphony, "Mathis der Maler" (Bliss, Hindemith) (1955) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80004
Orchestral
BLISS: Miracle in the Gorbals / Discourse for Orchestra Naxos
8.553698
Orchestral, Film and TV Music
BLISS: Oboe Quintet / BRITTEN: Phantasy / String Quartet No. 3 Cedille
CDR90000-093
Chamber Music
BLISS: Oboe Quintet / Piano Quartet / Viola Sonata Naxos
8.555931
Chamber Music
BLISS: Piano Concerto / Piano Sonata / Concerto for 2 Pianos Naxos
8.557146
Concertos, Instrumental, Concertos
BLISS: String Quartets / Conversations Naxos
8.557108
Chamber Music
BRITISH FILM MUSIC (UK ONLY) Naxos
8.554577
Film and TV Music
Children's Choir Music: New London Children's Choir - SKEMPTON, H. / CORP, R. / BENNETT, R.R. / CHILCOTT, B. / RUTTER, J. / MAW, N. (Pigs Could Fly) Naxos
8.572113
Choral - Secular
Clarinet Recital: Bradbury, John - BAX, A. / ROXBURGH, E. / FINZI, G. / HURLSTONE, W. (The English Clarinet) Naxos
8.570539
Chamber Music
Classical Chill Naxos
8.520101
Ballet
CLASSICAL MEDITATION Naxos
8.570364-65
Chamber Music
DISCOVER THE CLASSICS, VOL. 3: The Concerto Naxos Educational
8.554486-87
Concertos
MYSTERY OF AUTUMN (THE) Naxos
8.557791
Ballet
ORIGINAL FILM MUSIC THEMES: Things to Come (1936-1947) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120597
Nostalgia
ROMANCE OF THE SILVER SCREEN (The) Naxos
8.578005-06
Film and TV Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE CONCERT BAND: Esprit De Corps Altissimo
75442270742
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE HERITAGE OF AMERICA BAND: Ceremonial Music Altissimo
75442270612
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
Viola Recital: Jones, Matthew - CLARKE, R. / WALTON, W. / BRIDGE, F. / BAX, A. / BLISS, A. / VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, R. (English Music for Viola) Naxos
8.572579
Chamber Music
Viola Recital: Magyar, Eniko - BLISS, A. / DELIUS, F. / BRIDGE, F. (The English Viola) Naxos
8.572407
Chamber Music

Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 





 
 
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