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CD£12.49

Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca (UMO)

CD£12.49

Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Decca (UMO)

CD£12.49

Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Decca (UMO)

One is at first dubious. Song of the Birds (aka Cello Concerto No. 2 by Herbert Murrill)? Philharmonic Variations by Haydn Wood? One has of course heard of Edmund Rubbra and his Soliloquy for cello and orchestra sounds faintly familiar. But who is George Dyson and what is his Prelude, Fantasy and Chaconne for cello and orchestra? Who are the composers and what are these works? The short answer is that these are works for cello and orchestra composed by Englishmen in the years surrounding WWII. The shorter answer is: two bright pieces and two dull pieces. Cellist Raphael Wallfisch brings his customary virtuosity and sensitivity to all his performances. Conductor Vernon Handley brings his usual strength and stolidness to all his performances. The BBC Concert Orchestra brings its standard competence and professionalism to all its performances. But while Rubbra's soulful Soliloquy and Dyson's splendid Prelude, Fantasy and Chaconne sound superb in Wallfisch and Handley's performances, there is nothing they or anyone else could do to breathe life into Wood's dreary Philharmonic Variations or Murrill's dismal Song of the Birds. And it doesn't help that White Line's digital sound is dim and dull throughout. For folks who have to have everything Rubbra or Dyson ever wrote, this disc will fill out a shelf. For the casual listener, this disc will induce creeping catatonia. © TiVo