Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bliss: Music for Strings (Boult)

Arthur Bliss
I can't claim a great deal of familiarity with the music of Sir Arthur Bliss (1891-1975), but of the dozen or so works I have heard, by far my favorite is the Music for Strings, a three-movement symphony in all but name.  I find much of Bliss' work to be rather dry, but that cannot be said of this piece, which has a richness and sweep very reminiscent of Elgar, albeit combined with more astringent harmonies than old Sir Edward would ever have employed.  It was introduced at the Salzburg Festival of 1935 by Adrian Boult, who made its first recording two years later:

Bliss: Music for Strings (1935)
BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult
Recorded March 24 and June 5, 1937
Victor Musical Masterpiece set M-464, three 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 56.35 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 37.46 MB)


  1. Alternate links:



  2. I must say I agree with your general opinion of Bliss, so am willing and eager to give this a spin.


  3. What a treat! The BBCSO records that Boult made in the 30's are wonderful items. I don't know that much about Bliss, but this work is compelling. A great transfer with (as always) excellent documentation. Thank you!

  4. Nothing to add after Bill's comment. I totally agree with him !!! THX for that post.