A worthy follow up to last year's first volume...
John O'Neill | Alpharetta, GA | 04/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've loved music for strings ever since I first heard Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for Strings". The English too know how to compose works for string orchestra and they did so often: this is Naxos' fourth disc of English music for strings and the second in the "English String Miniatures" series featuring David Lloyd-Jones conducting: this time he leads the English Northern Philharmonia. The conductor is a champion of English composers and once again he delivers some outstanding performances. Some of the items here are more familiar than most of those found on the first disc - Elgar's yearning "Sospiri" tugs at the heart strings everytime. And the present works of Delius and Warlock have been recorded many times. But there is plenty of less frequently heard items as well - Ireland's "The Holy Boy", Geoffrey Bush's "Consort Music", and Haydn Wood's Fantasy-Concerto were all delightful new discoveries for me. We're even treated to Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Charterhouse Suite" - a nice change from the "Fantasia on Greensleeves" which seems to find its way onto every "classics for relaxation" or "meditation" CD out there. The all digital recording is beautifully balanced. The strings are rich and clear. Almost 70 minutes of pleasure. Another excellent release from Naxos. (Pick up volume 1 as well if you don't have it already.)"
Lots of good string music for a low Naxos price
Todd Ebert | Long Beach California | 05/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy listening to music for strings because of the beautiful cyclic vibrations that somehow are able to encode so much humanity and heaven like Huffman could never imagine.
Most of this music was new to me, and I did not know what to expect (quite honestly I didn't have high expectations). But after hearing Elgar's "Sospiri" on the radio I thought I would give it a try. I found the rest of the cd also quite good; especially Vaughan Williams's "Charterhouse Suite" which, along with "Sospiri" and Haydn Wood's "Fantasy Concerto", are my favorite compositions from this recording.
Conductor David Lloyd Jones knows this territory well and brings out the best in these English compositions. Also, the recording seems very clear and well balanced.
People seem so curious about what to put in their diets to live longer and be more healthy. How about more string music in your mental diet for becoming more tender, patient, and even romantic in your ways? And for other forms of international string cuisine, try Naxos #553106 for some Scandinavian string music (Grieg's "Holberg Suite" is one of my favorite piecies of all time!).
Maybe finest of the series
Michael B. O'Connor | West Palm Beach, FL United States | 02/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 2 of the Naxos English String Miniatures carries on the fine work done by Shaw and the Bournemouth Sinfonietta in the first volume. The works in volume 2 are not nearly as well known, but they hold up quite well in comparison, especially in the expert hands of David Lloyd-Jones and the English Northern Philharmonic. My only beef is that the printed track order, and the electronic listing that downloads to media players is wrong. Ireland's Holy Boy is actually track 7, not 13. This displaces the remaining tracks up by one."