Sir Adrian Boult championed his fellow British composers;
the results can be heard to this day on a multitude of
recordings with the LPO on Decca and Lyrita, many still
considered benchmark recordings. This included Vaughan
Williams symphonies complete, extensive documentation of
the works of Elgar and Holst, as well as Delius and Bax
along with Ireland with Boult recording the symphonic
rhapsody Mai-Dun, The Overlanders and in 1967 the Piano
Concerto with pianist Eric Parkin.
Eileen Joyce is one of the few female classical artists to
enjoy a celebrity, almost pop status, commencing during
WWII and continuing right through the 1950's, her
popularity often being compared with that of Vera Lynn. As
Vera Lynn was the 'Wartime Sweetheart', entertaining the
troops, Eileen Joyce boosted morale through the war
performing as part of Jack Hylton's Blitz Tours. Her
audience grew immensely through her film appearances,
most famously performing the Rachmaninov concerto in
Brief Encounter. As an Australian, she was a 'colonial'
showman in Britain at a time of elite intellectual and social
snobbery, and this somewhat worked against her, Joyce
opting for the BBC Proms popular concerts at the expense
of Royal Philharmonic Society recognition enjoyed by her
contemporaries Solomon and Curzon.
John Ireland drew musical inspiration from his English
heritage, its poets and landscapes. He became a
celebrated composer during the first half of the 20th
century, championed by conductors such as Sir Adrian
Boult, who conducted the première of These things shall be
in 1937. Boult programmed this Promenade concert in 1949
to mark Ireland’s 70th birthday.
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