Notes and Editorial Reviews
This boxed set reassembles largely analog material from existing Lyrita CDs under a new generic grouping. Dates and locations of recording sessions are not given. Lyrita seem always to have been reticent about those details. The sound is a model of its kind – Lyrita were always able to boast glorious sound.
The freshly written liner-notes are by the authoritative and accessible Paul Conway and run to ten pages. These are not a simple retread of the original notes by other authors.
The String Concertos range far and wide. The Coleridge-Taylor is a treasure - full of Dvo?ákian melody and incident. The Holst Invocation is almost as moody as the Rubbra Soliloquy, the dark-clouded atmosphere of which you could cut with a machete. Finzi's Introit was salvaged from a disowned Violin Concerto, and it's the best thing in it by a long chalk. The two Holst works are from his appealingly chattery neo-classical years although the lovely Lyric Movement for viola has a yearning core. Busch's Cello Concerto is from the other half of the CD that yielded the Piano Concerto on SRCD2345. The Moeran Violin Concerto has been following me around this year. I have heard it three times live and several times recorded. Its touching slow-fast-slow movement scheme is most adroitly handled by Georgiadis and Handley in what was the work's first commercial recording from circa 1979. CDs 3 and 4 require stiffened sinews for the modernistic Violin Concertos by Gerhard, Fricker, Morgan and Banks. Even the Serenata Concertante for violin and orchestra by Maconchy will not let you off the hook lightly. We end with a roar and a flourish in Hoddinott's typically titled and expressed Nocturnes and Cadenzas for cello and orchestra from 1969.
– Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International