Holbrooke isn't a familiar name but his name meant fame in the UK between 1900 and 1920. His music is English opulence - is that possible? - with a highly charged romantic tonal language. It mixes Elgar's nobility with Richard Strauss' fantasy world. He liked romantic Edgar Allan Poe subjects and composed sometimes creepy spooky music, full of fantasy and strange orchestral effects. Problem with this music is that's mostly a `once played, quick forgotten affair, on to the next disc please' but I kept playing this disc for two consecutive nights. Why?
The performance is so white hot - so exaggerated, so Stokowski like - that you forget you deal with a B-composer. The recording is excellent and everything gets an A++++++++++ treatment. So it sounds more interesting than it is and I like that. Second when Holbrooke asks for 8 horns you get 8 (many times you get 4, money matters you know, and with a good ear you can hear that difference). Strings are plenty and lushly romantic, percussion is excellently sharp focussed. Timpani are timpani and not plush drums played under a blanket. And that for an German orchestra! Bravo! Third: very good documentation! More Holbrooke this way please CPO! And please provide a pair of magnifying reading-glasses with the disc for your next Holbrooke so I can easily read the booklet notes.