Ireland - Music for String Orchestra | Naxos 8571372

Ireland - Music for String Orchestra


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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8571372

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 1st April 2016



John Irelandís music is often a response to landscape and romantic sensitivities. With its significant musical clues, broad, songlike melodies and turbulent finale, the Sonata in G minor is one of his most expressive and passionate works. A Downland Suite is one of Irelandís most attractive compositions, especially its exquisite Elegy and popular Minuet made familiar through its use in radio and television. Irelandís evocative piano works lend themselves well to string orchestra arrangements. They include the exquisite miniature Soliloquy and In a May Morning, the second movement of Sarnia, inspired by spring on Guernsey.


Evocations of rolling English landscape are ever-present in the music of John Ireland (1879-1962), whether implicit, as in A Downland Suite, or implied, as in the brooding Cello Sonata in G minor, played here with arresting vigour by Raphael Wallfisch in an arrangement for strings by Matthew Forbes. Wallfisch also finds grace in several tuneful miniatures, notably a Cavatina from 1904. David Curtis and the Orchestra of the Swan make light work of the bucolic Downland Suite, but it is perhaps the wistful Soliloquy, a piano piece from 1922 arranged for cello and strings by Graham Parlett, that most intrigues in a collection that charms but rarely excites.  Stephen Pritchard
The Observer 10 April 2016

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