Penguin Guide Rosette Winners
Arthur Bliss (1891-1975)
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Three English Ballets
“What a joy to welcome on CD, a major British ballet score (comparable in appeal to Walton's Façade with which, happily, it's coupled). Constant Lambert's Horoscope is a highly individual score that's somehow very English. It's played here with striking freshness and expansiveness.
Lloyd-Jones responds to Bliss's lyricism very warmly. What makes this disc particularly enticing is the inclusion of the two Façade suites, welcome away from the spoken poems.
This is music that in a witty performance can make you smile and even chuckle. So it is here, especially the 'Tango Pasodoble' with a delicious lilt for 'I do like to be beside the seaside' contrasting with its Offenbachian gusto, the 'Swiss Yodelling Song' with its droll Rossini quotation and refined mock-melancholy, and the irresistibly humorous 'Polka' that just manages not to be vulgar. All are ideally paced and the solo wind playing a delight. The recording is near perfect.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“The suite from Horoscope is Lambert at his very finest. David Lloyd-Jones is very sympathetic to its specifically English atmosphere.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
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Mewton-Wood plays Twentieth Century Piano Concertos
Noel Mewton-Wood (piano)
“…Mewton-Wood's hell-raising display is in a class of its own, elevating Bliss's extrovert rhetoric to new levels of musical excitement. So too is the Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds, especially the pile-driving syncopations towards the close of the first movement where Mewton-Wood's fearless attack and rhythmic control are breathtaking. All in all, a worthy commemoration of a significant artist, definitely not to be missed.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2009
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