Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lennox Berkeley: Divertimento

Who nowadays remembers Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989)?  It seems to me he is in danger of being forgotten, although there is a Society that aims to prevent this.  I hope it succeeds, for he deserves better.  During his lifetime his music was championed by some quite eminent musicians, among them Dennis Brain, Julian Bream and Yehudi Menuhin.  Of the 20 or so works by Sir Lennox (he was knighted in 1974) that I have heard, perhaps my favorite is this charming neoclassical Divertimento, scored for a Haydn-sized orchestra, commissioned by the BBC in 1943 (the year the above photo was made) and dedicated to Nadia Boulanger; I'm especially fond of its last movement, a rondo, with its slithery main tune.  This is its first recording, and perhaps the first recording of any of his works.

Berkeley: Divertimento in B-Flat, Op. 18
London Chamber Orchestra conducted by Anthony Bernard
Recorded March 25, 1948
English Decca AK 1882-83, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 37.62 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 18.1 MB)

This is another "reissue" of a recording I originally uploaded in 2007.


  1. Must have missed this back in 2007. Thank you for the Divertimento and the other projects. Great to have you back, Bryan. We missed your fine work and research!

  2. Hi Bryan;

    only recently got round to listening to this. Enjoyed it a lot. Thanks,