English String Miniatures, Vol 3
Already we are at the third volume of this attractive series and the fund of attractive melodies shows no signs of drying up. Carlo Martelli’s Persiflage opens the programme with a winning lyrical flurry‚ and Haydn Wood’s dancing Eighteenth Century Scherzo is equally felicitous‚ although hardly a period piece. Finzi’s nostalgic Prelude makes a perfect foil‚ as later does his even finer‚ yearning Romance. Holst’s Brook Green Suite is often recorded‚ but comes up with sparkling freshness‚ especially the vigorous finale. William Blezard’s Duetto is a lyrical canon with a pizzicato introduction‚ yet is more passionate and less predictable than its form might suggest.
But most striking of all are Michael Hurd’s Sinfonia concertante for violin and strings (Robert Gibbs the soloist) with its lovely central Andante and bouncing finale‚ and Bruce Montgomery’s Concertino‚ again with a warmly expressive central slow movement and an energico‚ yet lyrical finale.
With David LloydJones conducting the Royal Ballet Sinfonia the performances are predictably spirited‚ as they are richly expressive‚ and the full‚ bright Naxos recording does them justice. Most enjoyable.