Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Len Mullenger:

Horn Concerto, Fairytale Suite and other orchestral music.
Michael Thompson (French horn), Royal Ballet Sinfonia/David Lloyd-Jones
Marco Polo 8.225839

David Lyon, born in 1938, is not widely known as a composer, that is until this splendidly played and recorded and well presented disc. It appears in Marco Polo's British Light Music series, but not all the music is really light. The Horn Concerto, commissioned for the Milton Keynes Festival in 1977, is eclectic and tuneful certainly, but not truly light, nor perhaps is the Ballet for Orchestra with its spiky orchestration reminiscent perhaps of Malcolm Arnold but to me more of Stravinsky and having something of the latter's arresting and astringent qualities. For the rest there are two suites which recycle music originally written for young children - the Farnham Suite for strings and the sensitively scored Fairytale Suite (the fairy tale is the 'Snow Queen'), a Fantasia on a Nursery Song ('Nick Nack Paddy Wack') which is an amusing set of variations, each in the style of a particular composer, the vigorous sparklingly witty Overture to a Comic Opera, very much in the tradition of the British light comedy overture and two miniatures, the pleasantly jogging Country Lanes and Waltz for strings, whose innocuous tunefulness masks subtle rhythmic complexities.

So the listener has a varied picture of Lyon's output. It is good to be reminded that much enjoyable light music was still being written in the seventies and eighties despite all the difficulties in finding performances for it. Let us encourage him (and his fellow composers) by investing in this attractive CD.


Philip L Scowcroft


Philip L Scowcroft

Reviews from previous months

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