Sainsbury • Foulds

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COMPOSERS: Sainsbury; Foulds
LABELS: Dutton Epoch
ALBUM TITLE: Sainsbury • Foulds
WORKS: Sainsbury: Cello Concerto, Op. 27; Foulds: Cello Concerto in G, Op. 17
PERFORMER: Raphael Wallfisch (cello); RSNO, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Martin Yates


Not for the first time, Dutton has coupled a recent British piece with a British rarity of larger interest dusted down from the shelf. The Cello Concerto of Lionel Sainsbury, contemporary in date (1999) rather than manner, doodles along in a slightly syncopated, sometimes pastoral way, though even the composer’s nearest and dearest might have to agree that it doesn’t linger long in the mind. In that sense it’s unlike John Foulds’ Concerto of 1909, an early orchestral work from the time before quarter-tones and other radical elements invaded his post-Romantic style.

Always a spirited champion of British repertoire, Raphael Wallfisch gives the piece his considerable all, with Martin Yates and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra sweeping happily alongside. None of them can quite vault over the piece’s bad tendency to hoist up striking material, only to let it fizzle away. Striking effects and memorable motifs festoon the Concerto’s 36 minutes; if only Foulds had increased the ballast and done more knitting. Still, Wallfisch’s nimble eloquence n an idiomatically written solo part makes for lively listening, and his improvised cadenza in the finale is dazzling. As for the Sainsbury, so easy and unruffled, I’ve found it’s a great accompaniment to ironing shirts.


Geoff Brown