Boughton: Aylesbury Games; Flute Concerto; Concerto for String Orchestra; Three Folk Dances

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Boughton
LABELS: Hyperion
WORKS: Aylesbury Games; Flute Concerto; Concerto for String Orchestra; Three Folk Dances
PERFORMER: Emily Beynon (flute); New London Orchestra/Ronald Corp
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67185
Best remembered for his Celtic fairy opera The Immortal Hour, and a vast Arthurian cycle that outdoes Wagner by comprising five operas, Rutland Boughton also composed a number of orchestral works, of which four are heard here. The more ambitious of them – the Concerto for Flute and Strings and the Concerto for String Orchestra (both 1937) – are regularly undistinguished in their material, if nicely executed technically. The lighter works – the Aylesbury Games of 1952 and especially the Three Folk Dances of 1911 – are more appealing, though neither travels any great distance from his basically alternating moods of gentle wistfulness and jocularity.

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The performances are highly sympathetic and, bar the odd lapse in intonation or ensemble, finely delivered. The sound, too, lets plenty of air into Boughton’s well-judged textures and reveals the string sound of the orchestra to good effect. George Hall