WORKS: The Rio Grande; Concerto for Piano and Nine Players; Horoscope
PERFORMER: Kathryn Stott (piano); Delia Jones BBC Singers; BBC Concert Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth
CATALOGUE NO: 436 118-2 DDD
This disc features the justly renowned Rio Grande, and presents a rounded portrait of Constant Lambert by including the very different Piano Concerto and the most successful of his ballets, Horoscope. The Rio Grande combines ecstatic Delian chromaticism with jazz elements, while the grittier Piano Concerto shows how Lambert developed stylistically and emotionally. In Horoscope there is some dilution of his main strengths, but this is still an attractive and tuneful score.
All the music is decently served by Wordsworth and his forces, with Kathryn Stott a mercurial soloist, but the orchestral playing sometimes needs greater rhythmic point. The sound is mostly good, but compromises uneasily between a spacious and a close balance. Anthony Payne