Ireland: Music for String Orchestra – Sonata in G minor, A Downland Suite, In a May Morning, Berceuse, Cavatina etc

Reviewed on Mon 30 May, 2016

John Ireland's gentle voice is appealing throughout, with two potential hits in his early Berceuse and Cavatina (these and four other piano pieces are heard in sympathetic new arrangements by Graham Parlett).

Before you plunge into this delicate box of treats, you might like to look at the YouTube video of the performers preparing the recording of John Ireland's Cello Sonata in Matthew Forbes's arrangement for cello and strings ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYHql5hpumY ). The substantial sonata opens proceedings and is one of seven works here receiving its world premiere recording. Soloist Raphael Wallfisch and the Orchestra of the Swan under David Curtis do Ireland proud, even if in the Sonata I'd have welcomed more of a spotlight on the soloist. Nevertheless Ireland's gentle voice is appealing throughout, with two potential hits in his early Berceuse and Cavatina (these and four other piano pieces are heard in sympathetic new arrangements by Graham Parlett). There is rather more heft in the other big composition, A Downland Suite. Wallfisch is a very fine cellist; Curtis and his colleagues are alert to Ireland's gentle inflections. This disc would work very well for anyone seeking an hour of peace in the company of mostly gentle folk. And prospective buyers can rest assured that everything has been recorded with suitable warmth.
–Ivor Solomons