Sir Arthur Bliss
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1891-08-02
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/dd595600-014b-498a-971d-c67198487f88
Sir Arthur Bliss Sir Arthur Bliss Sir Arthur Bliss Sir Arthur Bliss

Biography

Born in Barnes, West London, on 2 August 1891 to an American father and British mother, Arthur Bliss showed musical aptitude from an early age. Having graduated from Pembroke College, Cambridge (where he studied music under Charles Wood), he entered ...

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Sir Arthur Bliss, West Australian Symphony Orchestra & Hans-Hubert Schönzeler
Finale, from Checkmate - concert suite
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Finale, from Checkmate - concert suite Finale, from Checkmate - concert suite Finale, from Checkmate - concert suite Finale, from Checkmate - concert suite
Sir Arthur Bliss & Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
Antiphonal Fanfare for Three Brass Choirs
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Antiphonal Fanfare for Three Brass Choirs Antiphonal Fanfare for Three Brass Choirs Antiphonal Fanfare for Three Brass Choirs Antiphonal Fanfare for Three Brass Choirs
Sir Arthur Bliss
A Sinister Mask
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A Sinister Mask A Sinister Mask A Sinister Mask A Sinister Mask
Sir Arthur Bliss & Mark Bebbington
A Romantic Mask
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A Romantic Mask A Romantic Mask A Romantic Mask A Romantic Mask
Sir Arthur Bliss, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Sir Andrew Davis
Morning heroes - symphony T.48
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Morning heroes - symphony T.48 Morning heroes - symphony T.48 Morning heroes - symphony T.48 Morning heroes - symphony T.48
Sir Arthur Bliss, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, John Westbrook & Sir Charles Groves
Morning Heroes - Symphony T.48; Spring Offensive/Dawn on the Somme
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Morning Heroes - Symphony  T.48; Spring Offensive/Dawn on the Somme Morning Heroes - Symphony  T.48; Spring Offensive/Dawn on the Somme Morning Heroes - Symphony  T.48; Spring Offensive/Dawn on the Somme Morning Heroes - Symphony  T.48; Spring Offensive/Dawn on the Somme
Sir Arthur Bliss, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Sir Charles Groves
March from Things to Come
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March from Things to Come March from Things to Come March from Things to Come March from Things to Come
Peter Donohoe & Sir Arthur Bliss
Sonata for Piano
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Sonata for Piano Sonata for Piano Sonata for Piano Sonata for Piano
Sir Arthur Bliss, Sir Charles Groves & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
THINGS TO COME (1936): March
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THINGS TO COME (1936): March THINGS TO COME (1936): March THINGS TO COME (1936): March THINGS TO COME (1936): March
David Lloyd-Jones, Orchestra of Opera North & Sir Arthur Bliss
2 Studies for Orchestra Op.16, no.2 – Adagio ma non troppo
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2 Studies for Orchestra Op.16, no.2 – Adagio ma non troppo 2 Studies for Orchestra Op.16, no.2 – Adagio ma non troppo 2 Studies for Orchestra Op.16, no.2 – Adagio ma non troppo 2 Studies for Orchestra Op.16, no.2 – Adagio ma non troppo
Choir of Royal Holloway, Rupert Gough & Sir Arthur Bliss
Sing Mortals!
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Sing Mortals! Sing Mortals! Sing Mortals! Sing Mortals!
Bournemouth S O, Paavo Berglund & Sir Arthur Bliss
Miracle of the Gorbals: Dance of Deliverance
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Miracle of the Gorbals: Dance of Deliverance Miracle of the Gorbals: Dance of Deliverance Miracle of the Gorbals: Dance of Deliverance Miracle of the Gorbals: Dance of Deliverance
Bournemouth S O, Paavo Berglund & Sir Arthur Bliss
Miracle of the Gorbals: The Street
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Miracle of the Gorbals: The Street Miracle of the Gorbals: The Street Miracle of the Gorbals: The Street Miracle of the Gorbals: The Street
Sir Arthur Bliss, BBC Philharmonic, Philip Lane & Rumon Gamba
Things to come - music for the film T.53: Ballet for children
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Things to come - music for the film T.53: Ballet for children Things to come - music for the film T.53: Ballet for children Things to come - music for the film T.53: Ballet for children Things to come - music for the film T.53: Ballet for children
Sir Arthur Bliss & Michael Collins (clarinet), Michael McHale (piano)
Pastoral
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Pastoral Pastoral Pastoral Pastoral
Ulster Orchestra, Vernon Handley & Sir Arthur Bliss
Scherzo (Red)from (The Colour Symphony)
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Scherzo (Red)from (The Colour Symphony) Scherzo (Red)from (The Colour Symphony) Scherzo (Red)from (The Colour Symphony) Scherzo (Red)from (The Colour Symphony)
Sir Arthur Bliss, BBC Philharmonic & Rumon Gamba
War in the Air: theme
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War in the Air: theme War in the Air: theme War in the Air: theme War in the Air: theme
Sir Arthur Bliss, David Lloyd-Jones & Orchestra of Opera North
A Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red
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A Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red A Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red A Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red A Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red
Sir Arthur Bliss, John Westbrook, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Groves & Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Morning Heroes
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Morning Heroes Morning Heroes Morning Heroes Morning Heroes
Sir Arthur Bliss, Peter Donohoe & Maggini Quartet
Piano Quartet
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Piano Quartet Piano Quartet Piano Quartet Piano Quartet
Sir Arthur Bliss, David Lloyd-Jones & Orchestra of Opera North
Study, Op. 16, No. 3 (Allegro)
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Study, Op. 16, No. 3 (Allegro) Study, Op. 16, No. 3 (Allegro) Study, Op. 16, No. 3 (Allegro) Study, Op. 16, No. 3 (Allegro)
Sir Arthur Bliss & Maggini Quartet
Quartet in A
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Quartet in A Quartet in A Quartet in A Quartet in A
Sir Arthur Bliss, Ulster Orchestra & Vernon Handley
A Colour Symphony; Red
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A Colour Symphony; Red A Colour Symphony; Red A Colour Symphony; Red A Colour Symphony; Red
Sir Arthur Bliss, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Vernon Handley
Adam Zero - ballet T.67: Awakening of Love and Dance of Summer
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Adam Zero - ballet T.67: Awakening of Love and Dance of Summer Adam Zero - ballet T.67: Awakening of Love and Dance of Summer Adam Zero - ballet T.67: Awakening of Love and Dance of Summer Adam Zero - ballet T.67: Awakening of Love and Dance of Summer
Sir Arthur Bliss, Vernon Handley & Ulster Orchestra
Checkmate - concert suite (feat. Vernon Handley & Ulster Orchestra)
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Checkmate - concert suite (feat. Vernon Handley & Ulster Orchestra) Checkmate - concert suite (feat. Vernon Handley & Ulster Orchestra) Checkmate - concert suite (feat. Vernon Handley & Ulster Orchestra) Checkmate - concert suite (feat. Vernon Handley & Ulster Orchestra)
Sir Arthur Bliss
Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red
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Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red Colour Symphony; 2nd movement - Red
Sir Arthur Bliss, Philip Fowke, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & David Atherton
Adagietto from Concerto T.58 for piano and orchestra (feat. Philip Fowke, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & David Atherton)
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Adagietto from Concerto T.58 for piano and orchestra (feat. Philip Fowke, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & David Atherton) Adagietto from Concerto T.58 for piano and orchestra (feat. Philip Fowke, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & David Atherton) Adagietto from Concerto T.58 for piano and orchestra (feat. Philip Fowke, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & David Atherton) Adagietto from Concerto T.58 for piano and orchestra (feat. Philip Fowke, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & David Atherton)
Shauna Rolston, Uri Mayer, Sir Arthur Bliss & Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Concerto for cello and orchestra (T.120)
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Concerto for cello and orchestra (T.120) Concerto for cello and orchestra (T.120) Concerto for cello and orchestra (T.120) Concerto for cello and orchestra (T.120)
English Northern Philharmonia, Sir Arthur Bliss & David Lloyd-Jones
Checkmate - concert suite
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Checkmate - concert suite Checkmate - concert suite Checkmate - concert suite Checkmate - concert suite
London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Arthur Bliss
Welcome The Queen
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Welcome The Queen Welcome The Queen Welcome The Queen Welcome The Queen
Sir Arthur Bliss, London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Arthur Bliss
Things To Come
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Things To Come Things To Come Things To Come Things To Come
Sir Arthur Bliss
Introduction and Allegro
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Introduction and Allegro Introduction and Allegro Introduction and Allegro Introduction and Allegro
Sir Arthur Bliss
Welcome the Queen - march Op.78
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Welcome the Queen - march Op.78 Welcome the Queen - march Op.78 Welcome the Queen - march Op.78 Welcome the Queen - march Op.78
Sir Arthur Bliss
March: Kenilworth (from Kenilworth suite)
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March: Kenilworth (from Kenilworth suite) March: Kenilworth (from Kenilworth suite) March: Kenilworth (from Kenilworth suite) March: Kenilworth (from Kenilworth suite)
Sir Arthur Bliss
Machines an March (Things to Come)
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Machines an March (Things to Come) Machines an March (Things to Come) Machines an March (Things to Come) Machines an March (Things to Come)
Sir Arthur Bliss
March from Things to Come suite (Arranged by the composer from his music for the film 'Thi
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March from Things to Come suite (Arranged by the composer from his music for the film 'Thi March from Things to Come suite (Arranged by the composer from his music for the film 'Thi March from Things to Come suite (Arranged by the composer from his music for the film 'Thi March from Things to Come suite (Arranged by the composer from his music for the film 'Thi
Sir Arthur Bliss
The Tempest - The Storm, Overture and Act 1 scene 1
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The Tempest - The Storm, Overture and Act 1 scene 1 The Tempest - The Storm, Overture and Act 1 scene 1 The Tempest - The Storm, Overture and Act 1 scene 1 The Tempest - The Storm, Overture and Act 1 scene 1
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Biography

Born in Barnes, West London, on 2 August 1891 to an American father and British mother, Arthur Bliss showed musical aptitude from an early age. Having graduated from Pembroke College, Cambridge (where he studied music under Charles Wood), he entered London’s Royal College of Music in 1913. However, his composition studies with Stanford were soon interrupted by the outbreak of war. Bliss promptly signed up for duty: in 1916, he was wounded at the Somme and, two years later, gassed at Cambrai.

In the years following the war, Bliss was considered something of an enfant terrible in British musical circles; exploratory works (‘essays in timbre’) for voice and instrumental ensemble such as Madam Noy (1918), Rhapsody (1919) and Rout (1920) were thought terribly daring.

His breakthrough came with A Colour Symphony, commissioned by the 1922 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester, and one of a clutch of orchestral offerings by Bliss that have maintained some kind of foothold in the repertory. These include the Mêlée fantasque (1921), Introduction and Allegro (1926), Music for Strings (1935) and Meditations on a Theme of John Blow (1955); all exhibit the generous lyrical impulse, big heart, tangy harmonic resource, keen sense of proportion and consummate craft that are the hallmarks of the composer.

At equal intervals throughout his career, Bliss produced four fine concertos: for two pianos (1929), piano (1938, dedicated to Solomon), violin (1955, for Alfredo Campoli) and cello (1970, inscribed to Rostropovich). His works for the stage suffered mixed fortunes. Widespread acclaim greeted the three ballets from the middle of his career, Checkmate (1937), Miracle in the Gorbals (1944) and Adam Zero (1946), whereas his two operas, The Olympians (1949) and Tobias and the Angel (1960), failed to establish themselves.

Among his many other vocal works, special mention must be made of the imposing and deeply personal symphony for orator, chorus and orchestra from 1930 entitled Morning Heroes. Dedicated to the memory of his younger brother Kennard (a gifted poet, painter and musician who was killed on the Somme in 1916), it continues to enjoy the occasional revival, as does the immensely appealing 1928 Pastoral: Lie Strewn the White Flocks‚ for mezzo-soprano, flute, chorus and chamber orchestra.

The prolific and versatile Bliss also excelled in the realm of chamber and instrumental music, penning two exceptionally eloquent string quartets, quintets for oboe and clarinet, as well as sonatas for viola and piano. He produced eight film scores in all and there can be few more indelible contributions to the genre than the magnificent music he supplied for Alexander Korda’s Things to Come (1936). Between 1942 and 1944, Bliss was the BBC’s Director of Music. He received a knighthood in 1950 and, three years later, succeeded Arnold Bax as Master of The Queen’s Musick. His personable autobiography, As I Remember, was published in 1970.The indefatigable octogenarian continued to compose right up to his death in London on 27 March 1975, aged 83.

Profile © Andrew Achenbach

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