Hamilton Harty (1879-1941, Irish)

(Sir) Hamilton Harty is best remembered, at least by fans of historical recordings, as a conductor. As a composer, his descriptive tone poem “With the Wild Geese”, written in 1910, is the only work of his I know.. It was recorded in 1968 by the Scottish National Orchestra under Alexander Gibson on “Music of the Four Countries” with works of Ethel Smyth, Hamish MacCunn and Edward German, and first reissued to CD in 1988 on EMI’s mid-price series Studio. It points to Tchaikovsky and Strauss. Nothing to do with wildlife, by the way: it is about “the Irish soldiers who fought for France at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745”. It is hardly original, but has its evocative moments. At 18:28, it is also way too long.

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