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British Light Music Premieres / Sutherland, Et Al


Release Date: 09/12/2006 
Label:  Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog #: 7170   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ernest TomlinsonVictor Hely-HutchinsonClifton ParkerPhillip Lord,   ... 
Conductor:  Gavin SutherlandPaul Murphy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC PREMIERES Gavin Sutherland, cond; Paul Murphy, cond; 1 Royal Ballet Snf DUTTON 7170 (76:40)


TOMLINSON Rhythmic Overture, “Highway to the Sun.” Lakeside Idyll. Heart’s Awakening. HELY-HUTCHINSON Overture to a Pantomime. 1 Read more PARKER Elizabethan Express. 1 LORD Court Dances. Celtic Suite. HEDGES West Oxford Walks. MARTELLI Celebration Day. LANGLEY Ballet Suite


From the very opening measures of Ernest Tomlinson’s galvanizing Rhythmic Overture (really a kind of miniature tone poem depicting a fast Italian auto trip), we are launched on a resilient and iridescent cloud of unmitigated auditory joy. Listening to this truly blockbuster piece, there can be no doubt that Tomlinson (b. 1924) is now the reigning dean of British light music. His abundant “Highway to the Sun” testifies to both his thematic serendipity as well as his mastery of orchestral color. It is followed by two shorter but no less inspired works—the intuitive and evocative Lakeside Idyll and the lovely romantic Heart’s Awakening , an excerpt from his one-act opera “Head of the Family.” While the now-legendary Robert Farnon (1917–2005) kept one foot firmly planted in the world of commercial pop and jazz, one can discern in Tomlinson’s output his ultra-sophisticated and wide-ranging awareness of 20th-century music in all its many forms. Would that someday we might have recordings of his two symphonies, both written in the l960s.


This third volume of British Light Music Premieres lives up to its promise of “discovery” by offering two splendid suites by a pupil of Tomlinson’s, Phillip Lord (1930–1969), here making his first appearance on disc. And what an exceptional talent was cut off at such a tragically early age! Both the three Court Dances and Celtic Suite draw upon that great civilized tradition stretching from Sullivan and German through Haydn Wood and Montague Phillips and eventually on to Tomlinson himself to give us prime examples of that echt-British brand of elegant and expressive light concert music.


All the other composers selected for this program are shown at the peak of their capacities: the delicately scored Overture to a Pantomime by the South African Victor Hely-Hutchinson (1901–1947), best known as the composer of the perennial Carol Symphony ; film composer Clifton Parker (1905–1989), whose spirited Elizabethan Express is adapted by producer Philip Lane from one of Parker’s scores for a British National Railways documentary; Anthony Hedges (b. 1931) is represented by the slyly jazzy little suite, West Oxford Walks , expanded from its original string-quartet setting; horror-film composer Carlo Martelli’s momentous Celebration Day overture; and an utterly beguiling Ballet Suite by BBC producer James Langley (1927–1994), which is chockfull of appealingly paradigmatic ideas.


This most generous and consistently distinguished collection is tossed off by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia with their customary spontaneity and panache.


An essential “light” release.


FANFARE: Paul A. Snook
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Works on This Recording

1. Rhythmic Overture "Highway to the Sun" by Ernest Tomlinson
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
2. Lakeside Idyll by Ernest Tomlinson
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
3. Heart's Awakening by Ernest Tomlinson
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
4. Overture to a Pantomime by Victor Hely-Hutchinson
Conductor:  Paul Murphy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
5. Elizabethan Express by Clifton Parker
Conductor:  Paul Murphy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; England 
Notes: Arranger: Philip Lane. 
6. Court Dances by Phillip Lord
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
7. Celtic Suite by Phillip Lord
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
8. West Oxford Walks by Anthony Hedges
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
9. Celebration Day by Carlo Martelli
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
10. Ballet Suite by James W. Langley
Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 

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