focus of their second-movement fugue has never been bettered.
As a bonus, the first-ever recording of Tallis’s 40-part Spem in alium, conducted by Tippett with the Morley Choir in 1948 – a glowing, lyrical account despite spots of insecure intonation. NMC’s presentation of these discs is impeccable. Martin Cotton’s reminiscences of recording the symphonies disc are charming; Anthony Burton’s notes for the other I disc add up to a substantial and I fascinating essay on early Tippett recordings. Calum MacDonald PERFORMANCE (Symphs)
The first solo entry in the Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso tells you exactly what to expect – technical assurance, coupled with a slightly wiry tone and a rather self-conscious approach to rubato. There’s a great deal more charm to the slow Introduction than Akiko Suwanai finds, and the fireworks of the Rondo aren’t capricious or rhythmically controlled enough. It’s the same story in the Havanaise, where the lack of an extended tonal palette also makes itself plain, and in Lalo’s potentially charming Guitare, where the rhythmic looseness infects the orchestra as well.
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