As soon as the title page appears before your eyes, you have to think, this must surely be another winner from Hyperion! If not as conspicuous and as memorable as the previous two issues in this wonderful series, this third volume matches a few familiar pieces with some delightful rarities that, nonetheless make splendid listening.
Amongst the more popular items, Ketèlbey's "In a Persian Market' is indeed delightful with a choral contributuon of the utmost humour whilst the dreamy, almost sleazy "Girl from Corsica' (Duncan) has some seductive strings indeed. Corp sets a genial tempo throughout Joyce's, "Songe d'Autumne' and he is delightfully unbuttoned for Melachrino's "Woodland Revel' and Monckton's rousing "Soldiers in the Park'.
Tomlinson's "Little serenade is also delightfully done whilst the more memorable pieces by Binge (Miss Melanie) and Wood (Montmartre) are given all the panache and swagger that befits these masters of melody. Corp chooses to end the disc with the nostalgic "Redifusssion March', this brings back many memories from my younger days when our home was still dominated by the brown box in the corner of the kitchen (yes, we had it in Malta too!).
And what about the other composers such as Caryll, Strachey, Richardson and Evans? All of them write some outstanding stuff as is presented here. Die-hards may also be content with Torch's "On a Spring Note' or Farnon's dashing "Portrait of a Flirt'.
Hyperion has managed a wonderful sound for this one, indeed it is better than the first issue which suffered from some slight treble roll-off, in fact this time the acoustic is much clearer to the greater benefit of these jovially orchestrated pieces. I would like Hyperion to turn attention to the longer pieces such as the English Folk Song Suite (Tomlinson) or Wood's splendid rhapsodies (Mannin Vein or The Seafarer) in the next volume. Otherwise this is another treasure for the light music enthusiasts who must be kicking him/her self in joy with all the splendid releases that are coming their way of late.
Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech