This second volume of delightful arrangements by British composers is indeed a treat. The varied talents of Peter Hope, Malcolm Arnold and the inimitable Ernest Tomlinson are just a few of the artists on offer here and the music is definitely most invigorating and tuneful.
Being a particular enthusiast of American history, I enjoyed Hope's Three American Sketches with 'marching Through Georgia', a particular favourite, since it dates from the Civil War. Albéniz's dreamy Tango is given an even more seductive arrangement by Arnold whilst Hope's deliciously inviting 'Majorcan Fantasy' is surely one of the highlights of the disc. Eric Wetherell's 'Airs and Graces' takes us back to the times of Roundheads and Cavaliers whilst Hope returns with his delightful 'Mexican Hat Dance' and the dreamingly folkloristic 'The Lark With a Clear Air' from the Irish borderers. A fine arrangement of Liszt's own arrangement of the BACH theme is but a prelude to the glorious 'Auld Lang Syne' fantasy by the energetic Ernest Tomlinson, a fitting conclusion to this disc which is full of sheer enjoyment. Gavin Sutherland and The Royal Ballet Sinfonia are experts of this genre, having already recorded countless discs of similar scope whilst the recording is a model of its kind.
Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech