The first item on this disc, the orchestral Two Studies, promises well. Rupert Bawden tells us that this lush and surprisingly melodious music started life as an ‘imaginary ballet’ on the Tristan legend one that he might develop at full length one day.
I strongly hope he does.
I wish I could be as enthusiastic about the main work recorded here, The Sailor’s Tale, a single-act opera about Horatio Nelson’s painful progress to maturity and heroism. Surely an opera has to convince the listener that something essential in its story, and in the emotions it contains, can only be expressed in music – more to the point, that it has to be sung.
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