The composer had served in each World War, and when his symphony was written, 1944–5, he was surely reflecting his personal experience in both conflicts. The opening of the first movement with its violent drum-beats immediately creates a darkness of mood which is seldom to lift throughout the work. The Ballad is hardly less disconsolate in feeling, again expressing its melancholy through an ongoing string cantilena. Here the Queensland strings are especially impressive, and Christopher Lyndon-Gee always responds convincingly to the emotional intensity which all this music carries.
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