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CD Review

British Light Overtures

Volume 2

  • John Ansell (1874-1948): Plymouth Hoe (a Nautical Overture) (1914)
  • David Gow (1924-1993): Overture One-Two-Five (1976)
  • Richard Rodney Bennett (b.1936): Farnham Festival Overture (1964)
  • William Alwyn (1905-1985): The Moor Of Venice (1957 - orch. P. Lane)
  • John Gardner (b.1917): a Scots Overture (1941 rev. 1954)
  • Michael Gryspeerdt (1927-2000): The Lamprey (1970)
  • Peter Hope (b.1930): Scaramouche (1962)
  • Anthony Hedges (b.1931): a Cleveland Overture (1984)
  • Gareth Glyn (b.1951): a Snowdon Overture (2001)
Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland
Academy Sound & Vision White Line CDWHL2137 63m DDD
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This is the second disc in another excellent series devoted to the rich seam of British Light Overtures, an area in which the composers from this sceptred isle were extremely prolific.

Ansell's 'Plymouth Hoe' contains a pot pourri of nautical melodies whilst the David Gow and Rodney Bennett contributions are rousing party pieces in the best British tradition.

William Alwyn has always been a favorite composer of mine and the excellently crafted 'Moor of Venice' can be counted as one of his best miniature works. Gardner's 'Scotch Overture' is also extremely vivacious and is rousingly interpreted by Sutherland.

Gryspeerdt's 'The Lamprey' and Hedges' 'Cleveland Overture' are also well crafted and finely constructed pieces with Gareth Glyn's pervasive 'Snowdon' concluding the disc. All in all, this is an extremely entertaining compilation that deserves to be in every British Music lover's collection.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech