add to wish list | library

5 of 5 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

Support this site by purchasing from these vendors using the paid links below. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.
  Membran -
  English String Music - RPO/Wordsworth
  Elgar: Introduction and Allegro, Serenade for Strings, Delius: Aquarelle Nos. 1 & 2, Warlock: Capriol Suite, Holst: Brook Green, Walton: Henry V (excerpts), Purcell: Suite for String Orchestra (arr. Coates)

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Barry Wordsworth (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Reviews: 3

Review by Allan1us November 17, 2005 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I put this record on with a certain amount of trepidation in view of the harsh string tone in some (but not all) of this RPO/Membran series. This one is fine - with a light, transparent and airy tone and a discreet rounding out of the sound from the rear speakers. The performances are very good. I had forgotten what a major and passionate work Elgar's Intro and Allegro really is and the rest of this programme is charming and delightful, from Delius's two lovely Aquarelles to Walton's miniature masterpieces from the Henry V film music. The Purcell arrangements by the (I think Edwardian?) conductor Albert Coates have been done with great musicianship - a little along the lines of the old Hamilton Harty version of Handel's Water Music - and I enjoyed them very much. The sound is of a very full symphony orchestra string section not a chamber band at all and it suits this music very well.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Review by Jonalogic August 16, 2010 (3 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Here is a quite lovely collection of English string music- minus any Britten or VW, though. It is most sensitively conducted and extremely well played throughout. So far, so good.

How you react to the sonics depends on your sensitivity to the effect of PCM on string sound- and specifically massed strings playing above forte in their upper registers. Frankly, string sound puts a stake through the heart of PCM- it just doesn't do it right, rendering them as hard, dry, papery, non-liquid and gritchy*. Thus is the case here, I'm afraid.

Analogue and DSD seem to be able to voice strings properly in their upper registers- assuming everything else is in order, of course!

So here is a challenge. If anyone out there can find a classical CD of any pursuasion, or an SACD recorded in PCM, with strings that actually sound like the real thing, I will publicly recant. After all, I'm a scientist, so one exception, any exception, suffices to blow any hypothesis out of the water.

Putting my reaction to PCM on one side for the moment, this remains a most enjoyable SACD. Just don't play it all at once. And be prepared for Membran's trademark insensitively short gaps between tracks and whole pieces. Why did they do this?

(* OK, gritchy = gritty and scratchy, obviously; but you guessed that, didn't you?)

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Review by raffells December 2, 2005 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
If you are only going to buy one Membran sacd then I think this should be it.
I only intend to add to the previous review as a string concert of over an hour might seem a little like too much Candyfloss in one go but this selection of English (note) Music by a top English string orchestra with an English conducter who has an excellent feel for the correct pace and limited dynamics of these works and a very clearcut and spacious recordings.I should add that the positioning of these works also works well.Adding a little extra contrast to the overall session.Membrans usual lack of seperation ? doesnt help here.The opening Elgar Allegro for string quartet and orchestra is followed by his excellent Serenade for strings.The four composers that follow have quite distict styles and the final Purcell work which is well known for its opening theme being in use in Brittens Young Person Guide to the Orchestra rounds off an excellent disc.
Considering the brickbats I am about to hurl at a number of Membran issues this has to be a Very strong BUY...

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Works: 6  

Frederick Delius - Aquarelle Nos. 1 & 2
Edward Elgar - Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op. 47
Edward Elgar - Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20
Gustav Holst - Brook Green
William Walton - Henry V
Peter Warlock - Capriol Suite