This is an excellent, fairly early, Naxos CD featuring a good selection of twentieth-century works for string orchestra. Recorded some six years before the Bournemouth Sinfonietta (BS) folded in 1999, the disc has four works from Bartok, Britten, Walton, and Stravinsky conducted by Richard Studt. The sonics are fine for these works which are sometimes thought to be at the "difficult" end of the spectrum (though they are not really difficult at all).
First up we have the 1939 Divertimento Sz 113 from Bartok. This is a fairly light work that Bartok wrote in just 15 days whilst living in Switzerland. Neoclassical in style, this is easy to appreciate.
Second, we have Britten's Simple Symphony Op.4. I have to confess that I find Britten hard to enjoy (I have tried several times), but this is one of his most popular works, having been recorded 40+ times; this is a fine performance from the BS.
Third, 2 Pieces from Henry V by Walton in the form of the Passacaglia and "Touch her sift lips and part". Short, quiet and moving.
Finally, we have Stravinsky's Concerto in D Major. One of Stravinsky's neoclassical masterpieces, easy on the ear. Whilst this is a lovely performance, the version recorded by the composer should be heard (best done by buying the ridiculously inexpensive Sony box Works of Igor Stravinsky [22cd
This inexpensive Naxos CD provides a very pleasant way to spend almost an hour with the much missed BS and it is recommended to those who have a taste for string orchestra works with a "modernistic tang".