The sad, almost tragic life story of Constant Lambert is admirably recounted in the notes to this CD so this reissue of his last recordings made at the early age of 46 is all the more poignant. There is a sense of fantastic discovery about this beautiful, tuneful music that the Philharmonia play with absolute relish.
The Waldteufel items are beautifully shaped and pointed especially the rarely heard 'Pomone' Waltz which also rubs shoulders with the more popular 'Les Patineurs'. I also enjoyed Lambert's Suppé readings, a brisk and engaging 'Pique Dame' and a splendidly uninhibited 'Morning Noon and Night in Vienna', this item almost reminded me of Boult's similarly effusive readings on a Pye disc reissued some years ago. The Façade was always a Lambert speciality, he was completely emphatic to Walton's delicate creation and this is indeed a definitive recording of the work. Finally as a titbit, we have the delightful Chabrier 'Ballabile', almost Beechamesque in the conductor's own orchestration. A fabulous disc then and a real treat at that.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech