Notes and Editorial Reviews
This CD of light music for string orchestra seems just right to usher in the summer. It starts with a suite by John Rutter based on folk tunes, its four movements devoted to "A-Roving," "I have a bonnet trimmed with blue,""O, Waly, Waly," and "Dashing away with the smoothing iron." Those familiar with Rutter's Christmas discs will know what a clever arranger he is, and not be a bit surprised that he manages to work in several other folk songs in counterpoint to the featured ones. Orr's pastoral piece smacks, in a good way, of Delius, and Melachrino's composition is idiomatically written for strings, as one would expect from the creator-conductor of the "Melachrino Strings." Two of the works, by Cordell and Gibbs, are compositions of a type that English composers do so well: tributes to earlier times. The Gibbs is reminiscent of Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite in its harmonic "modernization" of consonant tunes set to old-fashioned dance rhythms, such as the Minuet and Sarabande. The Royal Ballet Sinfonia plays all this music with confidence and charm, not to mention good tone. David Lloyd-Jones, one of my favorite underrated English conductors, paces performances that are just right and beautifully phrased, and the recorded sound is generally excellent, if a bit bass shy and remote.
--Rad Bennett, ClassicsToday.com