JOSEPH HOLBROOKE (1878-1958): Aucassin and Nicolette - Ballet, Op. 115, Saxophone Concerto in B Flat, RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1936): Seven Country Dances for Saxophone and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 01N004
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7277
Description: Holbrooke's last significant musical success was his 1935 ballet score for a scenario loosely based on a 13th-century French troubedour tale. The ballet was very successful and Holbrooke's music widely praised, providing a creamy, pastel-colored cushion which emulated the Froissart- and Bayeux Tapestry-inspired set design. Its longest number, a six-minute Pas de deux, has a lovely, lush Delian flavor. Debussian Impressionism marks the Serenade slow movement of the 1927 saxophone concerto (which employs both alto and soprano instruments), coming after a languorous, rhapsodic Barcarolle and before a lightly jazz-influenced Rondo finale of "light music" flavor. Bennett's 2000 set of dances take as their starting point seven tunes from John Playford's 17th century "Dancing Master" and he weaves rich textures and beautiful harmonies as he creates his own personal, rhapsodic versions of the old tunes. Amy Dickson (saxes), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; George Vass.