CONSTANT LAMBERT - CONDUCTOR - Vol.
WARLOCK Capriol Suite
RAWSTHORNE Street Corner
DELIUS On Hearing the First Cuckoo in
DELIUS Hassan - Intermezzo and
DELIUS La Calinda (arr
Constant Lambert String
John Armstrong (ten), International String Quartet, Robert Murchie (fl),
Terence Macdonagh (cor anglais) Philharmonic String Orchestra LPO Halle
cond Constant Lambert
PEARL GEM 0058
Capriol's archaicisms are shrugged off by Lambert with delicacy and a touch
of ardour. This is never in danger of desiccation. It avoids the drier reaches
of neo-classical academics. Lambert's attention to dynamics is impressive.
Only John Arnstrong's mannered delivery (very much of its time) compromises
The Curlew. The elfin sorrow and despair are in the bones of the
instrumentalists but although the tenor is sympathetic this is not enough
to lift the performance from the mere historical to the historic.
The Rawsthorne Street Corner is gamely done with sly humour and the
Cockaigne-like bustle of Lowrie-teeming life. Rawsthorne's gift for
exuberance and abrasive awkwardly-jointed melody is much in evidence. This
is certainly the case in the Symphonic Studies (recorded in the 1970s
by John Pritchard on a Lyrita LP but not issued on CD) - a more earnest work
of gawky terse expression breathing the heady air of 1940s British film music.
The three Delius confections are daisy-fresh with the cuckoo calling in spring
in pointedly fastidious manner. The woodwind contribution in all three works
is delicately accented but achieves memorable quality in the Hassan music.
In La Calinda it was down to Lambert to prompt revelation that this
music has more in common with Chabrier and Bizet than with the so-called
A generous and varied collection. The Warlock was recorded a couple of months
after the Warlock memorial concert with the same performers. There is no
alternative version of Symphonic Studies (although Naxos will surely
fill that gap before long) and the Delius 'pictures' are successfully done.
A nice collection. I hope that later volumes will exhume Lambert conducting
broadcasts of his Music for Orchestra and Summer's Last Will.