Notes and Editorial Reviews
Well I suppose you either like compilations or you don’t, but with Christmas coming up, this well recorded and good quality CD might be just what you need, or at any time for that matter.
Some tend to be a ‘bit sniffy’ about discs like this. The classic syndrome, how can people listen to Classic FM and support the advertisers if they are listening to their 3 hour long Relaxing Classics compilation of only slow movements? This one at any rate mixes styles and it mixes tempo, genre and interest. Therefore it never grates, it can be put on and listened to right through, and, I’m sorry to admit you might well wash up to it or eat or… well whatever.
The performances are generally unproblematic. One could complain that the ‘Greensleeves Fantasia' is really too slow, and that it is a pity that a disc with just a few choral items could only rustle up one verse of ‘Jesu Joy’. However one could also say that it is a joy to hear ‘Let the bright seraphim’ done so well by Pamela Coburn and an anonymous trumpeter with its final choral section ‘Let their celestial concerts’ sung so cleanly even if the ensemble between the strings and the men is not always spot on.
The ‘March of the Little Lead Soldiers’ by Gabriel Pierné was, for me anyway, a pleasantly surprising feature and it is played most sensitively and delicately.
-- Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International