This disc is further testimony to the excellent work of Barry Collett in getting 'forgotten' Elgar repertoire not only performed but recorded. The recording itself is excellent, with the players of the Innovation Ensemble doing full justice to the pieces.
While most of the disc concerns the Powick music, there are some delightful 'extras', including a Duett for double bass and trombone, a Fugue for oboe and violin, and an Andante & Allegro for oboe and string trio - all written by the youthful Elgar for performance by various friends and family. To accompany the recording, there is a high-quality booklet with photographs and excellent notes by Andrew Lyle.
This is not great music and no one is claiming it to be, but it is tuneful, skillfully written and easy to listen to. For the Elgar enthusiast it provides an interesting insight to the composer who, denied the financial resources to study abroad, learned his trade in and around provincial Worcester - 'from the ground up'.
The nature of the Powick music, written for the Patients' Friday Dances, means there is much similarity of tempo - on a disc with (for example) twenty five Quadrilles, this is only to be expected. With this in mind, I suggest disc is best listened to in sections rather than at one sitting.