COMPOSERS: Haydn,Honegger,Jackson,Turina & Walton,Wagner
LABELS: Lancashire Enterprises
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Enterprising Sounds
WORKS: Symphony No. 83 in G minor (Hen); Pastorale d’été; Siegfried Idyll
PERFORMER: Lancashire Sinfonietta/Jacqueline Hartley
CATALOGUE NO: (available for £8.50 incl. p&p, from Education Dept, County Hall, Preston PR1 8RJ)
Not content with more orthodox reunions like the alumni dinner-dance, former members of the Lancashire Students’ Symphony Orchestra have established a professional chamber orchestra to perform in the North-West. Many of the players are now regular members of some of the country’s most illustrious orchestras – the director, for example, is associate leader of the BBC SO. On the evidence of this, its debut CD, such a brave undertaking has yielded highly commendable artistic results.
Haydn’s Hen Symphony sets the pattern for the quality of both the playing and producer Andrew Keener’s impeccably warm but clear recording. The wind are particularly fine in choir chording and solos, string phrasing is polished, the ensemble in the finale might be the envy of more glitzy names. The whole piece clucks and chuckles along delightfully.
Honegger’s languor is, perhaps, kept on too tight a rein, but the Turina has plenty of atmospheric Iberian sparkle and bite while the lovely Wagner conveys the sense of an interpretation already well ‘lived-in’. Lancastrian Timothy Jackson’s commissioned work has a strong feeling of Britten meets Michael Nyman (on the Venice Lido, probably) but is no less accessible and attractive for that. David Wilkins