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The Traditional Hornpipe Suite of Adrian Cruft is less successful. It seems well-suited to its original purpose -- accompaniment to a children's play, but holds limited interest in a concert version.
Eric Fenby was a secretary for Fredrick Delius and a musician in his own right. His Rossini on Ilkla Moor [listen -- track 11, 1:45-2:57] first evokes the Moor and then Rossini. It's a clever, well-written piece that wouldn't be out of place in a program of that master's witty overtures.
Raymond Warren's Wexford Bells -- Suite on Old Irish Tunes reminds me of Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances. Warren has done an exceptional job of choosing and orchestrating melodies, both sad and lively. Anthony Hedges and Philip Lane (the most recent composer in the group) have made fine choices as well, Hedges in a suite with the response-to-nature feel so often associated with the genre, Lane with a gentle and light-hearted approach to themes associated with royalty.
Copyright © 4 April 2004
Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA