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CD Review

British By Arrangement

  • Tchaikovsky/Lennon/McCartney: 'Beatlecracker' Suite
  • Alexander Borodin: Nocturne from String Quartet #2 (arr. Sargent)
  • Allan Gray: The African Queen
  • Philip Lane: Mendelssohniana
  • Michael Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore
  • Robert Irving: Donizetti Variations *
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra/Gavin Sutherland
* City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra/Daryl Griffith
Academy Sound & Vision White Line CDWHL2142 77m DDD
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One of the most industrious labels in the field of British Light Music has definitely been AS&V with the issue of over twenty discs in this much loved genre. This latest release is quite aptly titled 'British by Arrangement' as it focuses primarily on works from foreign composers but arranged or adapted by British composers.

The first work on this well filled disc is a hilarious and highly effective arrangement of melodies by Tchaikovsky and The Beatles. You may think that it doesn't quite work although one can delight in the delicate intertwining of the 'Nutcracker' music with such hits as 'Help', 'Ticket to Ride' and 'From Me to You' sounding quite ravishing.

Sargent's famous arrangement of Borodin's 'Nocturne' is lovingly done here whilst Gray's specialized arrangement of themes from 'The African Queen' is also very fine indeed. Philip Lane needs no introduction as an excellent composer in this genre and his aptly titled 'Mendelssohniana' really brings a jolt to the often sedate music of this composer.

My favourite was the arrangement of 'Dances from Terpsichore'; this is a no holds barred, unashamedly romantic arrangement of Praetorius' diligently collected compositions. Finally Griffith gives us the music of Donizetti's melodies in another lush arrangement that truly has a Latin spark to it. Great stuff then and obviously a must have for all lovers of this genre at such a low price.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech