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.
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