Symphony by Adam Pounds album cover

Symphony

Performed by Academy of Great St. Marys and Stapleford Choral Society

As a Londoner, Adam Pounds has always been fascinated by the city's history and life and after the composition of his London Festival Overture for the Waltham Forest Arts Festival (commissioned by Greater London Arts), it was only a matter of time before he would set some London poetry to music. Symphony was especially composed for the combined forces of the Academy of Great St. Mary's and the Stapleford Choral Society.

The work is scored for a standard symphony orchestra, S.A.T.B. choir and a baritone soloist. The piece opens in celebratory mood setting the words of William Dunbar a 16th century poet and the music has traces of Walton's influence in it. However, it isnít long before the music turns to a more reflective mood and we hear the words of George Eliotís In a London Drawing Room. This really explains the idea behind the work in that we scratch the polished veneer of the great city and we find a vast array of lifestyle, history opulence and poverty.

The solo baritone conveys the loneliness that can be experienced even in a crowded environment and he plays his part as the ghost in Shadwell Stairs by Wilfred Owen and also features in Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth. There is also a 'Docker's song' where the words 'dirt and grime' are given a brutal, mechanical treatment. Between the Wordsworth and the Owen, Adam has inserted a short orchestral interlude. The theme of this is based on the famous Westminster Chimes. This is appropriate as the chimes although strongly associated with London were composed in 1793 for a new clock that was installed in Great St. Mary's, Cambridge. The piece concludes with the words of the Amy Levy who was the first Jewish woman to study at Cambridge University. Her evocative poem A March Day in London provides some beautiful descriptive lines.

Left quote Poundsí essay is characterised by interest, excellent orchestration and traditional form. It is well-played on this recording by the Academy of Great St Maryís conducted by the composer. Right quote

— John France, Musicweb International


Entr'acte: Duets by Adam and Dinah Pounds album cover

Entr'acte

Adam and Dinah Pounds

The combination of flute and guitar has been described as enchanting and beautiful and this is surely demonstrated by the works featured on this recording. The Ramirez guitar is stylistically acceptable as a continuo instrument in the early works by Blavet and Rameau but it is perhaps in the other compositions where the combination of the two instruments brings a different perspective on well-known pieces.

Left quote The playing is inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable...
a fascinating recording Right quote

— John France, Musicweb International

Left quote A sound that's clean and immediate, crisp on the strings yet mellow on the flute... beautifully played and most sympathetically recorded Right quote

— Tony Scotland, author, Lennox & Freda


Resurrection by Academy of Great St. Mary's, conducted by Adam Pounds and Samual Hayes album cover

Resurrection

Academy of Great St. Mary’s

  1. O Mortal Man - Howells
  2. Like as the Hart Desireth the Waterbrooks - Howells
  3. Life Cycle - Pounds
  4. The Lord is my Shepherd - Berkeley
  5. Martyrdom of Latimer - Pounds
  6. Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice - Finzi

Left quote Every bar [of Life Cycle] is well conceived ... a worthy addition to the orchestral repertoire. Right quote

Left quote An impressive and ultimately moving work that justifies its title... Right quote

Left quote A master of the orchestra Right quote

Left quote For [the Pounds pieces] alone [Resurrection]
is worth the price of purchase Right quote

— John France, The Land of Lost Content


Magnificat Christmas from Cambridge album cover

Magnificat Christmas from Cambridge

Great St Mary’s Choir

Features A Cradle Song by Adam Pounds, together with works by Howells, Berkeley and Bach

  • Available from Cambridge Recordings (catalogue no. CAMREC03)

25th Anniversary Recording Works by Walton, Pounds & Vaughan Williams album cover

25th Anniversary Recording Works by Walton, Pounds & Vaughan Williams

The Nelson Orchestra

Gaelic Triptych, Festival Overture and A Northern Picture by Adam Pounds. Plus Crown Imperial (Walton) & Folk Song Suite (Vaughan Williams)

  • Available from Cambridge Recordings (catalogue no. CAMREC02)

Shostakovich String Quartet No. 3, Barber, Pounds String Quartets - The Bingham String Quartet album cover

Shostakovich String Quartet No. 3, Barber, Pounds String Quartets

The Bingham String Quartet

An engaging and very intimate recording of three pieces performed by one of the UK's leading Quartets, performed at Heydon Church. Includes the world premiere recording of the String Quartet No. 2 by Adam Pounds, and an exceptionally emotional and strong performance of the Shostakovich Quartet No. 3.

Left quote The Bingham Quartet was completely committed and competent... a well-balanced recital with a convincing programme Right quote

— John France, Musicweb International