Bennett: Orchestral Works, Vol.2

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Howard Mcgill (saxophone)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra ‚óŹ John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5212 (69:25)

I have long liked Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s (1936-2012) delightfully evocative ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (1974) music, which along with ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ (1967) and ‘Nicholas and Alexandra’ (1971) were all Oscar nominations, and thought I would go for this album of four other works conducted by the composer’s great advocate John Wilson (Bennett’s Reflections on a 16th-century tune was dedicated to John).

So, we have the 21½- minute longest item, Concerto for Stan Getz – sadly uncompleted before the saxophonist’s death – followed by Symphony No.2, described elsewhere as “gritty”, an attractive Serenade and pleasant Partita.

Whilst for some the music may not match the immediate appeal of the composer’s soundtrack scores, this usual fine sounding Chandos recording is well worth persevering with.

© 2018 Peter Burt

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