This is a light music
recital recorded in a lively acoustic
with the piano rendered in rather stonily
Gavin Sutherland is
a conductor who has been pivotal in
the blooming British light music scene.
This has rubbed off on this three movement
composition which is in a patois that
is sly, laid-back, mildly bluesy, jazzy,
relaxed and free of anxiety.
David Fanshawe's African
Sanctus put him on the map in the
1970s. His Serenata is calming
and gentle. It would be nice to hear
this in its version with orchestra.
Reginald Hunt's Meditation
is more Brahmsian - an unbuttoned
Stanford. Gilbert Vinter was a force
to be reckoned with in British light
music. His succinct Song and Dance
sequence is again carefree but more
folk inflected than any of the other
pieces. I loved the unhalting flow of
Verity Butler's playing in Second
Song. The final song and dance movement
is quirky and smacks of the music hall.
Canto Popolare by Elgar will
be well known within a few moments.
It is the liquidly cradled lullaby-inflected
serenade from the centre of the otherwise
wildly impulsive concert overture In
the South. It is most lovingly done.
I see from the excellent notes that
Elgar consulted Charles Draper over
the adaptation of this piece.
Philip Lane has also
played a decisive role in the light
music revival. His work is in evidence
on both Naxos and ASV CDs. His Spanish
Dances range from the quick Malaguena
(lovely playing again at 1.01 onwards
where Ms Butler brings out the poignant
tone of the oboe original). The Habanera
is spiced with the odd surprising
dissonance and a decidedly bluesy slide
and sidle. I liked this sequence very
Then come the Frederick
Kell pieces. His son was Reginald Kell
whose Lonely Shepherd Reginald
recorded for Decca. Frederick’s four
pieces are full of grace and are grateful
to the instrument. Kell's An Autumn
Tune and Moods have a fantastic
dreamy engagement … at times Delian
but with less pallor and with a more
Terence Greaves has
been active as principal at the RNCM
and as a teacher at Birmingham Conservatoire.
His Clarinet Cakewalk is throwaway
Back to Gavin Sutherland,
this time as the arranger for the last
two tracks. Nostalgia is a medley
of ‘classics’ such as The Very Thought
of You which segues with ease into
the masterly A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley
Square by Eric Maschwitz (1901-1969).
It is so lovingly shaped by Verity Butler
- try 4.23 onwards. After that Ivor
Novello's Shine Through My Dreams
comes as a bit of a let-down. Sutherland's
gift for arrangement comes further in
his arrangement of Jack Strachey's In
Party Mood - one of those tunes
you know but cannot often put a name
to. It was the signature tune of the
radio programme Housewife's Choice which
will be familiar to a certain generation
- at least in the U.K.