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CD Review

British String Miniatures

Volume 1

  • Gareth Walters: Divertimento
  • Edward Elgar: Elegy, Op. 58
  • Michael Roberts: Suite
  • Frederick Delius: Two Aquarelles
  • Anthony Hedges: Fiddler's Green
  • William Walton: Two Pieces from Henry V
  • John Addison II: Partita
Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland
Academy Sound & Vision White Line CDWHL2134 72m DDD
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This interesting collection of works continues to consolidate AS&V's enviable position as one of the most zealous advocates for the much loved genre of British Light Music.

Sutherland has chosen a fine melee' of works to begin this series devoted to strings and it is good to see Hedges' unforgettable 'Fiddler's Green' in the collection. Addison's 'Partita' is also a well groomed work full of boisterous fun and beautiful lyrical tunes especially in the concluding Andante – alla Marcia. The lovely Aquarelles by Delius are very atmospherically played here with the RBS clearly very much involved in the music. The Walton pieces are welcome but I must say that the composer's own version is still quite unsurpassable in these miniature gems whilst the Elgar 'Elegy' has also been much better played by masters such as Boult and Barbirolli (Dutton) Walters and Roberts are contemporaries and their Divertimento and Suite are similar pieces imbued with quite a lot of creative energy.

This is a well recorded, beautifully played disc that also retails at mid price and is thus highly recommended.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech