fifth volume of this series continues the good work. That
said it has rather an idiosyncratic line-up. Budd’s curtain-raising
overture is followed by a work, by Francis Chagrin, originally
written for piano, and then by two concertos, an extended
Air for strings and finally by Addinsell’s suite written
for a play and heard here in a reconstructed version by
Philip Lane. Plenty of explaining to do then.
Budd knew how to ply a fine tune. His Tricolor overture
was composed in 1988, five years before his early death.
It’s an engaging affair replete with chirpy quotations
from a French Revolutionary song. Springy and unpretentious,
it too has had some remedial work carried out, because
it’s heard in a reconstruction made by Adam Langston; the
score is lost so Langston took the whole thing down from
a surviving tape of a broadcast performance conducted by
Aquarelles are deft and touching little character studies
originally of three specific children but then he added
two more so listeners could find more in the quintet of
pieces. They are very brief and range from frolicsome to
more introverted and on to wistfully expressive, which
is No. IV, my favourite of the set.
Carr contributes two pieces. He was born in Cornwall in
1961 and has had a varied career thus far, writing for
film, television and concert hall – and he also paints.
His Concerto was dedicated to Nicholas Daniel who plays
with typical eloquence throughout. This is a snappy work
with slightly neo-classical leanings. In the ruminative
B section of the first movement I was reminded slightly
of Walter Leigh. The slow movement is a reflective meditation
with a brief, central rising of tension and it ends with
the oboe shadowed by a string line. This rapt movement
was inspired by the dying of the composer’s mother. The
finale is airy and aerated with conciliatory gestures.
It’s a delightful work – compact, deftly scored, full of
engaging lyric lines and that slow movement is especially
moving. His Air for Strings is a warm, romantic cantilena
and makes a good pendant for the concerto.
other concerto is that for Clarinet by Gavin Sutherland.
This again is played by the dedicatee, Verity Butler. This
is a more straightforward affair than Carr’s work – bright,
breezy and in the best ‘Light Music’ tradition, in which
sense it conforms to Dutton’s series rubric rather more
than the Oboe Concerto. There’s a delightfully tuneful
Song without Words and a rather tongue in cheek – as it
were – Scherzo. Sutherland doesn’t neglect to write a testing
final work was written by Addinsell and was reconstructed
by Philip Lane in 2008 from the tapes that exist of the
score and which are hired out to theatre companies staging Ring
Around the Moon
. This is a Jean Anouilh play, remembered
best from its post War staging in London by Peter Brook
in a performance starring Paul Schofield. There are eight
engaging dance movements, all pretty brief. There’s a good
role for the piano in the prelude, and there’s a peppy
little Two-Step with some percussive bash to keep everyone
on their toes. Pertly done all round.
the typically informative notes, and witty artwork – not
to mention highly idiomatic performances - you can purchase
British Light Music Premieres on Dutton
2 - CDLX7151
4 - CDLX7190
France's article on the Air for Strings by Paul