One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Buy through MusicWeb for £5.75/7.00 postage paid World-wide.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button

Visit our partner ArkivMusic

English String Miniatures Vol. 6
Gustav HOLST (1874-1934)
A Moorside Suite (1928) (arr. Philip Lane)
Scherzo, Nocturne, March
Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
Chacony in G minor, Z.730 (ed. Benjamin Britten)
Paul LEWIS (b.1943)
Rosa Mundi (2003)
Adam CARSE (1878-1958)
The Winton Suite (1933)
Prelude Air Dance Song Finale
Paul CARR (b.1961)
A Very English Music (2002)
Cuckmere Haven Cornish Air The Hunt Gathering
Malcolm LIPKIN (b.1932)
From Across La Manche (1998)
Overture Ballade Dance-finale
Lionel SAINSBURY (b.1958)
Two Nocturnes (1990)
Molto lento Mesto e semplice
Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930)
Bethlehem Down (1927) Carol for strings (arr. Philip Lane)
William LLOYD WEBBER (1914-1982)
Waltz in E minor (1939)
Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland
rec. Phoenix Sound, Wembley, London, Aug/Nov 2003. DDD
NAXOS 8.557753 [74:15]

This disc of string miniatures contains a mixture of the works of contemporary and classical composers. If this is aimed at library collectors I should question the mixing of styles from so diverse a range of composers. The modern recording is of high calibre with competent musicians and leadership. Sutherland's reading is alert and intuitive, and he is clearly at home with this genre.
The Chacony in G Minor by Purcell is a set of variations of differing rhythmic patterns based on an eight bar section. It is the earliest of the compositions represented on the disc and has some endearing qualities.
An early suite by Holst, Moorside, carries distinctive mature characteristics of this Gloucestershire composer when 54. Of the movements, the March is the best, with tuneful distinctive charm. The Scherzo with folksong qualities is rather low key while the Nocturne meanders aimlessly without due focus.
A gathering breezy power of Carr's oddly titled, A Very English Music, successfully engages the listener as it sweeps across the Sussex landscape. I found the soundscape portrayed by The Hunt at Laycock somewhat disappointing: the orchestra pedantically trots along without the excitement of a galloping rhythm.
Sainsbury's Nocturnes are modern, but carry a certain classical respectability. Good chord structures give the Mesto e semplice a tangible strength.
Lipkin's From Across La Manche opens with a stirring and energetic Overture somewhat reminiscent of a Hitchcock film score and follows with a tranquil and more accessible Ballade, written in the Bruckner vein. Its Dance-Finale seems inaptly titled since the broken rhythms are unlikely to fit any dancers' needs and I did not recognize the Mazurka style referred to in the notes.
Lewis's Rosa Mundi, the most recent composition on the disc, drifts with monotonous repetition of its simple theme.
The Winton Suite Prelude provides an energetic opening to provide contrast to a less inspired Air that follows. The truly inspired Dance is cheery and brings forth a spirit that is captivating. This mood is picked up again by the Finale that is enthusiastically played in sprightly fashion.
Good, brief notes are provided on the composers and background to the music. They are by Philip Lane and are in English only.
Raymond J Walker

see also reviews by Rob Barnett and Gwyn Parry-Jones

for reviews of other Naxos releases of British composers, see the themed release page

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Cantatas and Organ Works

Complete Songs

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Simone Dinnerstein piano





Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
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.