One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Buy through MusicWeb for £11.00 postage paid World-wide. Try it on Sale or Return
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Purchase button


Sir Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989)
Berkeley conducts Berkeley

Mont Juic, Op. 9 (with Britten, 1937) [11:04]; Serenade for Strings, Op. 12 (1939) [13:19]; Divertimento in B flat, Op. 18 (1943) [18:46]; Partita, Op. 66 (1964-54) [12:38]; Sinfonia concertante, Op. 84 – Canzonettaa(1973) [2:58]; Symphony No. 3, Op. 74 (1969) [15:17]
aRoger Winfield (oboe).
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Lennox Berkeley
rec. 1971-75. No location information. ADD

These are authoritative analogue original recordings of Berkeley’s orchestral works with the LPO conducted by the composer. The CD appears freshly on the market courtesy of the Lyrita-Nimbus collaboration. They are old friends; some older than others, but all familiar first to LP era music enthusiasts. Most of the recordings featured here derive from SRCS 74. They are the Divertimento, Canzonetta, Serenade and Partita. While Mont Juic is from SRCS 50 where originally it shared the vinyl with the Bliss Mêlée Fantasque, Holst’s Japanese Suite and Walton’s Music for Children. The Third Symphony is from SRCS 57 with Geoffrey Bush’s Music for Orchestra and Maconchy’s Coronation year award-winning overture Proud Thames.

The Mont Juic Dances are the product of happy days in Barcelona for Britten and Berkeley for the 1936 ISCM Festival. As Peter Dickinson reports having had the confidence of the composer the first two dances were "mostly by" Berkeley while the other two were "mostly by Britten". These are lugubrious and exuberant by turns and perhaps comparable with the Malcolm Arnold English Dances. The string Serenade bustles and sings in competition with the much earlier string Serenade by Dag Wirén and along the way sneaks the odd glance in the direction of Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra. The Divertimento sis light and zestful – Berkeley suggesting himself as a sort of English Poulenc with the occasional whiff of liberation from Piston. Some may recall this piece from a mixed RCA LP conducted by Igor Buketoff. The Partita is much later and is more anonymous and less memorable – more’s the pity although the first of the two central Arias is nostalgically engaging rather redolent of Poulenc. The singing Canzonetta – what a pity Roger Winfield and the composer did not record the whole of the op. 84 Sinfonia Concertante – graciously recalls Malcolm Arnold and is very touching. The single movement Third Symphony is a more elusive piece, compact, serene and with some triumphant moments. The excellent notes are by Berkeley authority, the composer Peter Dickinson.

Rob Barnett

see also review by Colin Clarke


We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

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.