ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Variations on the name Gabriel Fauré for Harp and String Orchestra, ARTHUR BENJAMIN (1893-1960): Ballade for String Orchestra, BERNARD STEVENS (1916-1983): Sinfonietta for Strings, ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK (1914-1991): Lullaby “Kolysanka” for 29 Strings and 2 Harps (Boyd Neel Orchestra; Boyd Neel. broadcast Jan. 31, 1961. mono), LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): Sinfonietta for Chamber Orchestra (London Chamber Orchestra; Anthony Bernard. broadcast March 20, 1961).
Catalogue Number: 03R003
Description: Since the four otherwise unavailable items are all from the same Boyd Neel Orchestra broadcast, Neel gets a page of his own in the notes which gives a biographical sketch and pays tribute to his devotion to new English repertoire for small orchestras. All four works are chronologically close - 1945, two from 1947 and one from 1948 - with Benjamin’s a gravely beautiful piece with a depth of tragic lyricism, Stevens’ a worthy addition to the genre of the English string sinfonietta and Bax providing a delightful piece leaning toward “light music” with his last composition of any serious size. Panufnik’s brief Lullaby stands out from the others with its intriguing melding of a simple folk-like melody led through increasingly dense harmonic textures while being played pianissimo throughout. Berkeley’s 1950 Sinfonietta, written for the performers here, also appeared on Lyrita, in a stereo recording by different artists, in 2007 (11J013).