Derek Bell: Symphony No. 2

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This disc was inspired by connections with Bulgaria which Derek Bell had, and by the work of the GRAIN OF WHEAT charity.   The only dates available in Bulgaria were in January  and conditions were appalling. The sessions took place in an unheated hotel in temperatures (outside) of -15 C.  New instruments were unavailable – even broken harp strings could not be replaced and had to  be repaired by knotting them together.  Despite the difficulties and the resources available to a small provincial orchestra, the cause gave all performers great enthusiasm.   The Bell compositions were written between 1958 and 1990, and reveal a very skillful but little known side to Bell , world renowned as a member of Irish traditional band  The Chieftains.

The works of Beinsa Duono (1864-1944) recorded here are devotional songs written in Bulgarian and the sacred Vatan language. Relentlessly persecuted during the communist era, he kept alive his art and during the last two decade there has been a resurgence of interest in his universally applicable spiritual legacy.  His music combines elements of Western, Bulgarian and ancient Orthodox traditions. These pieces were recorded at EMI’s Abbey Road studio.

Track Listing

    Derek Bell:

  1. Variations and Musical Quotations (14:04)
  2. Divertissement Variations on a Tune (15:28)
  3. Toccata Burlesca for oboe and piano (3:44)
  4. I. Symphony no. 2 “The Violet Flame” – Invocation of the Violet Flame and the Golden Ray (3:06)
  5. II. Symphony no. 2 “The Violet Flame” – Invocation of Pan, God of Nature (10:51)
  6. III. Symphony no. 2 “The Violet Flame” – Poeme d’Amour (7:33)
  7. IV. Symphony no. 2 “The Violet Flame” – Waltz and Variations (4:39)
  8. V. Symphony no. 2 “The Violet Flame” – Procession towards Shambhalla (4:23)
  9. Beinsa Duono:

  10. Izgryava slunteseto (2:11)
  11. Vehadi (2:13)
  12. Kiamen Zenu (1:16)
  13. Gospodi, kolko Te obicham (2:56)