Ronald Binge - Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Naxos 8.555190 [72’21”]
Our hopes fulfilled: we have not had to wait long for Vol.2 of ‘British Light Music’ and – after Addison – it looks as if the series is going to be in alphabetical order. This album was originally released by Marco Polo in 1992 and features 19 shortish tracks by Ronald Binge (1910-1979), of whom the conductor (not a bad composer himself!) said, “No-one more exemplified the successful light music composer of his generation. He was esteemed for his music and for the unassuming loveable person that he was.”
All the favourites are here, like Elizabethan Serenade, Scottish Rhapsody, String Song, The Watermill, and Sailing By. Not having listened to any Binge for some time, it is nice to get reacquainted with such as The Dance of the Snowflakes and Venetian Carnival.
The soloist on Concerto for Alto Saxophone (written for the, then, annual International Festival of Light Music in 1956) is Kenneth Edge, and Silvia Cápová the Slovakian soloist on the miniature rhapsody for piano and string orchestra, Prelude: The Whispering Valley. The original recording was made, as were many of this vintage, in the Concert Hall of Slovak Radio, Bratislava.
Unfortunately, there has been a significant hoick in Naxos prices so this is not quite such a bargain as its predecessor. But if it passed you by in its previous incarnation, you won’t regret in getting it now.