Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:


Sally in our Alley and Cherry Ripe;
Edward ELGAR
Haydn WOOD Fantasy-Concerto;
John IRELAND The Holy Boy;
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Charterhouse Suite;
Frederick DELIUS Air & Dance;
Peter WARLOCK Serenade for the 60th Birthday of Frederick Delius;
Geoffrey BUSH Consort Music;
Frank BRIDGE Sir Roger de Coverley
English Northern Philharmonia
David Lloyd-Jones
Recorded in the Great Hall, Leeds University, March 2000
NAXOS 8.555068 [69:21]
  AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Brief though each of the pieces on this disc may be, most have real substance and offer a wide range of expertly-crafted writing for strings. Pride of place must go to the three Frank Bridge pieces. These are no mere folk-song arrangements - they are more in the nature of rhapsodies, using the original tunes as starting-points. All three are wonderfully inventive and technically demanding.

Of the rest, I particularly enjoyed Bush's Consort Music - its six very short movements include a delicious waltz and many unexpected twists and turns. It is good to be reminded that there was more to Haydn Wood than Roses of Picardy: his three-movement Fantasy-Concerto is a reworking of a prize-winning string quartet which first appeared in 1905 and shows an assured grasp of form. The Warlock Serenade happily complements the two Delius pieces. Elgar's Sospiri is imbued with the requisite degree of painful yearning.

David Lloyd-Jones secures from his players performances of evident affection and enjoyment. The sound is full and mainly rich - especially from the lower strings - but the upper strings' tone is sometimes 'wiry' in high-lying passages. This leads me to wonder how large were the forces used. In my local concert hall we never get a full complement of strings these days; and I suspect that in the recording-studio the same happened, with engineering wizardry to compensate.

For all that, this is a typical Naxos bargain, and strongly recommended.

Adrian Smith

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board.  Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.This is the only part of MusicWeb for which you will have to register.

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: