Thursday, May 21, 2015
Patric Standford - The Essence of England
The centerpiece of this album is Standford's first symphony. Titled "The Seasons -- An English Year" this 1972 work quite effectively conjures up the English countryside, with each movement corresponding to a season. Though not a ground-breaking work, it is a well-constructed one, and if you're fond of Arnold or Rubbra, there's much here to enjoy.
Raphael Wallfisch plays Standford's 1974 cello concerto with straight-forward conviction, which (I think) presents the music in it's best possible light. Rather than creating a showpiece for technique, Standford seemed more interested in creating a work that let the cello sing. And Wallfisch makes his instrument do just that.
David Lloyd-Jones and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra deliver highly expressive performances that bring out the beauty for Standford's compositions. A well-recorded album of interesting music. While some may not consider Standford to be a world-class composer, I think his music holds it own at least in the realm of British 20th Century music.
Patric Standford: Symnphony No. 1 "The Seasons -- An English Year";
Cello Concerto; Prelude to a Fantasy (The Naides)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones; Raphael Wallfisch, cello