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Reynolds, A.: Alice Through The Looking Glass Suite
 
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Reynolds, A.: Alice Through The Looking Glass Suite

12 Jun. 2002 | Format: MP3

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Format: Audio CD
When CDs were first generally taken up by the classical record industry Marco Polo was something of a godsend to listeners interested in neglected - or even forgotten - music; using Eastern European provincial orchestras for the main part, the quality of the performances were not always ideal and since the days when the label had much of its core repertoire to itself, it has been eclipsed by labels such as Chandos, Hyperion and - above all - CPO, who have all offered superior performances of similar Romantic and Post-Romantic music in far better sound. I'm not even sure if Marco Polo still issues new releases, though many of them do appear by its sister label, Naxos.

Among the finest of its recordings for me were its series devoted to `British Light Music', a field largely left untouched by the other players in the industry apart from multi-composer compilations. The nice thing about this series, aside from its exploration of some of the less well-known names in the field, is its dedication of a whole disc to each composer enabling a broader view of their style and development.

This CD devoted to the music of Albert Reynolds - some concert music, much deriving from musical theatre - has always been one of my favourites in the series. It is comprised of a series of suites and overtures that bear witness to a charmingly witty personality with a strong gift for melody. The suite for `Alice Through The Looking Glass' is a good place to sample his music - passing from the comic-grotesque of `Jabberwocky' (complete with siren-whistle) through the perfumed but sturdy waltz of `Ballet of the Talking Flowers' and the clip-clopping `Parade of the Hobby Horses' (based on `Humpty Dumpty' tune) to a humorously pompous closing march.
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