Repertoire-wise this complements the double disc Delius
collection in the same series. It shares the same blend of faults and
favours. On the positive side is a voluptuously recorded and interpreted
Violin Concerto from Tasmin Little. This derives from the extensive
Delius recordings done by the Welsh National Opera orchestra with Charles
Mackerras in the 1990s.
The Piano Concerto is a really early piece with a flavour
of the Liszt Second Piano Concerto rather than offering presentiments
of the languid Delius. This work has more to do with Grieg's Piano Concerto
than with Delius's later concertos. Kars glitters and coruscates. There
are a few sentimental moments such as at 2.47. It has been the done
thing to slight this early work but in fact it is a pretty creditable
romantic essay which goes through all the right motions and has something
about it. This is a work that has suffered because it was not the Delius
everyone expects. Just take it at face value. If it had been written
by some obscure Norwegian romantic we would have been more open-minded!
The cello trifles are pleasant and certainly far more
in character than the Piano Concerto. Brigg Fair sounds antiquated
again though Collins' exegesis is well worth hearing. These are certainly
not time-serving readings. Hiss and distanced effects coupled with the
intrinsic fragility of the sound makes this version a make-weight rather
than a safe single recommendation.
Reasonable English-only notes.
Mixed bag with the two concertos (the Piano Concerto
atypical of the Delius we know so well) being the pillars. The cello
pieces are inconsequential though skilfully done and the Cuckoo
wholly characteristic of the Mackerras Argo series.