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Butterworth/Parry/Bridge


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Audio CD, January 1, 1987
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Product Details

  • Performer: English String Orchestra
  • Conductor: William Boughton
  • Composer: Frank Bridge, George Butterworth, Hubert Parry
  • Audio CD (January 1, 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nimbus
  • ASIN: B000024NRO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,272 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. A Shropshire Lad
2. English Idylls No 1
3. English Idylls No 2
4. The Banks Of Green Willow
5. Lady Radnor's Suite: Prelude
6. Lady Radnor's Suite: Allemande
7. Lady Radnor's Suite: Sarabande
8. Lady Radnor's Suite: Bourree
9. Lady Radnor's Suite: Slow Minuet
10. Lady Radnor's Suite: Gigue
11. Suite For String Orchestra: Prelude
12. Suite For String Orchestra: Intermezzo
13. Suite For String Orchestra: Nocturne
14. Suite For String Orchestra: Finale

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This recording, also issued in the U.S. by the well-known Musical Heritage Society (5153293 being the issue number on the M.H.S. disc's surface, 515329-X on the box's recto and verso paper inserts), presents some very agreeable and eminently approachable English music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Alas, while the music is accessible and mostly pleasantly melodious, it is of variable quality. In short, Parry's and Bridge's works seem like "small change" in the company that they keep on this CD with Butterworth's truly exquisite folk-tinted pastoral music, gorgeous tone poems (though not termed that) that they are. To be fair, this is due to the choice of Parry's and Bridge's music being from among their more derivative and pallidly academic-sounding works in order to share disc space with some of the very best strains of Butterworth's most memorable music.

Sir Hubert Parry's "Lady Radnor's Suite" is a clever example of "Baroque pastiche", imitating 18th century dances in orchestral garb that reminds one of the warmly robust textures of Sir Hamilton Harty's performing editions of suites of excerpts from G.F. Handel's "Water Music" and "Royal Fireworks Music". As such intentionally derivative music goes, Parry's suite probably shows more genuine understanding and absorbtion of Baroque dance suite style and meolodic-harmonic content (apart from in the obviously differently motivated "Slow Minuet" movement) than most such efforts. On the other hand, it does not offer much besides such feigned manner in a work which, indeed, is what the French might term an "exercice de style"; one thinks of the best of similar works which add something more to the mix, e.g.
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