For a time, Marco Polo reigned supreme as the lonely bastion of British Light Music with several memorable releases that are still very valid these days, especially in their Naxos remasters. However AS&V's recent forays into the genre have yielded several rich pickings and now their vast collections runs to over 20 discs, the latest being this wonderful disc dedicated to Charles Williams.
These are musical gems that are representative of their time, that is the Britain of the immediate post war years. A land of ration cards, barbed wire in the countryside and the comradeship of austerity. Pieces such as 'Model Railway', 'Starlings' and 'The Humming Top' are lovingly childlike, whilst the composer's obsession with clocks or timepieces is also evident in works such as 'Nursery Clock' and 'The Old Clockmaker'.
If Williams is not informed with the prodigious musical gifts of Robert Farnon, he knows what a good tune means. Wordsworth is a persuasive advocate of this lovely music and the disc is also well filled with copious and stylish notes. If you have been collecting previous issues in AS&V's White Line series then you will need no prompting for this latest release.
Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech