Bantock: Hebridean Symphony; Russian Scenes; Old English Suite

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

WORKS: Hebridean Symphony; Russian Scenes; Old English Suite
PERFORMER: Czecho-Slovak State PO, Košice/Adrian Leaper
CATALOGUE NO: 8.555473 Reissue (1989)
This perfectly decently played and recorded version of Bantock’s Symphony – more of a sprawling Hebridean rhapsody – is not in the same league as Vernon Handley’s spirited account (Hyperion), but certainly looks a more attractive proposition at budget price; the sound has brightened, too. Moreover, English music buffs should note there are no competing versions of the other two works. While Russian Scenes is Tchaikovsky-and-water, though lively enough, the Old English Suite, pioneering arrangements of Elizabethan virginals pieces by a man who was, after all, a master orchestrator, is a pleasant thing to hear once in a while, a kind of English counterpart to Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances. Calum MacDonald