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.

Sad news: composer & conductor Bramwell Tovey (BBC Concert Orchestra; Rhode Island Philharmonic; Sarasota Orchestra) has died at the age of 69.