Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Len Mullenger:

THE PASSING OF TIME: John McCabe and Richard Strauss
Symphony No. 4
Richard Strauss
Duet Concertino

Royal Holloway Symphony Orchestra/Matthew Taylor
from 2 Park Close, Glossop, Derbyshire SK 13 7RQ £12.00 plus 90p p & p

John McCabe’s Fourth Symphony (1993/4), subtitled “Of Time and the River” after Thomas Wolfe’s novel, has been recently recorded by Hyperion with professional forces. However it is good for students to tackle the work of living composers, so we should give a cautious welcome to this creditable release which certainly shows the enthusiastic devotion of the Royal Holloway Orchestra and the skill of its players, particularly the wind who are given plenty to do by McCabe. We would not in any case expect a perfect performance as this is taken from a live concert, on 5 March 1999, but I enjoyed listening to this worthwhile effort. It is coupled with Richard Strauss’s last purely instrumental piece, the Duet Concertino, from another live concert and featuring good playing from the young soloists Emma Clarke (clarinet) and Laura Bursey (bassoon) and generally from the orchestra, though string time becomes rather sour by the end. Recording and presentation good.


Phil Scowcroft


Phil Scowcroft

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