Recorded in March at the Watford Colosseum, this is the final recording made by Bramwell Tovey who died in July. It’s a distinguished swansong, for he and a very responsive BBC Concert Orchestra have set down a really fine account of Francis Poulenc’s four-movement Sinfonietta (1948), such warm-hearted music if not without shadows, and also embracing wit and charm. Tovey and his players find much in this work – plenty of point and poetry – and end with an infectious dash through the humorous Finale. The other substantial score (forty minutes) is for the ballet Les Animaux modèles (completed in 1942), easy-to-enjoy descriptive music of copious characters, unmistakably Poulencian in its twinkle-in-the-eye song and dance – charming, sparkling, bittersweet, urbane … some gravitas – performed with sensitivity, delight, pizzazz and generosity, with noteworthy instrumental cameos along the way: at one point leader Nathaniel Anderson-Frank might be thought to have strayed into Richard Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel. Splendid sound from Ralph Couzens to complement Brian Pidgeon’s production values. Chandos CHSA 5260 [SACD] is released on November 4.
Bramwell Tovey & the BBC Concert Orchestra record Poulenc for Chandos.
Oct 20, 2022 | Outstanding [category w.e.f. January 2021], Recording Reviews | 2 comments
Submit a Comment Cancel reply
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Bramwell Tovey spent much of his career out of our sight and only returned to our shores recently. Not enough time to place him as a really spontaneous musician whose performances enhanced the works he delivered. This last recording shows his skills in unfamiliar repertoire. He is a serious loss to British music.
Indeed, Edward – who can forget Leonard Bernstein’s praise of Bram?