Arnell/Berners/Delius

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Arnell/Berners/Delius
LABELS: Sony
WORKS: Punch and the Child; The Triumph of Neptune – Suite; Paris
PERFORMER: Robert Grooters (baritone)RPO, Philadelphia Orchestra/Thomas Beecham
CATALOGUE NO: SMK 46683 AAD (1952/56)
Of the two ballets, Richard Arnell’s (written in 1948 and based on the capers of that cruel subversive, Mr Punch) is the more challenging. Lord Berners’s jolly music for a trip to fairyland is simply daft: finding the Philadelphia Orchestra in such company is more than a little bizarre. After these footnotes to British music, Delius’s Paris sounds quite a masterpiece, especially when performed by that composer’s greatest advocate. Recordings have aged well, but the booklet is below par. Stephen Maddock

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