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Joseph Holbrooke from CPO

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Author Topic: Joseph Holbrooke from CPO  (Read 7172 times)
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« Reply #105 on: June 12, 2019, 04:59:33 pm »

I'm afraid I'm somewhat underwhelmed by the new CPO disc, but I have to say I think that's more than a little down to the performances, which strike me as not much more than rather tepid runs-through;  for example, listen to how much more carefully Vernon Handley shaped and phrased The Birds of Rhiannon, whereas in this reading it rather just meanders along...Music with such a tendency to prolixity such as Holbrookes - the first movement of Ships being a case in point - really needs the acute ear and sensitivity of a Beecham: what a shame he never recorded any. (I once saw Howard Griffiths described by a famously dyspeptic US reviewer as a "routinier", and took great objection to the term, but I now wonder; this is music that needs much more than simply beating time....)

Having said which, I do hope someone (else) finally records The Bells one day - a splendid piece right up with the best of his work, but which definitely needs a razor-sharp performance from all involved...
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