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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67444
Recording details: May 2003
Big School, Christ's Hospital, Horsham, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: July 2004
Total duration: 14 minutes 24 seconds

'This is music for an English summer evening, with a glass of wine to hand—rewarding in its unpretentious, melodious, nicely crafted way; especially when played with sympathy and elegance by Robert Salter and the excellent Guildhall Strings and so naturally balanced and recorded by Andrew Keener. Don't miss it' (Gramophone)

'The performances by Guildhall Strings are energetic and precise. Though a relatively small ensemble of 11 strings, they possess a Protean ability to convey a much plusher sound as required … Dare we hope this CD will mark the beginning of a break for Milford? He's long overdue one' (Fanfare, USA)

Festival Suite, Op 97

Written for the Jacques String Orchestra and its conductor Reginald Jacques, this suite for strings dates from 1950 and was clearly intended to mark the Festival of Britain in 1951. After the short easy-going Overture rounded by an Adagio fanfare motif the two middle movements return to the approach of the short movements in Go, little book: a siciliana consisting of a flowing 6/8 with an opening section of seventeen bars (sixteen and a lead back) and a more sonorous conclusion of twenty-five bars. In the third movement the slow minuet consists of an opening statement followed by a variant played twice, and then the trio which opens with a string quartet only expanding to the full string orchestra at the climax, before the slow minuet returns da capo. The dancing Allegro finale is designated Scherzo in the score, but is prefaced by eight intense slow bars played by string sextet. Two related themes heard over the dancing strings are repeated in various guises and then together, Milford constantly elaborating the music into a new phase, before the slow introduction suddenly returns cutting the flow, followed by a spirited gesture of dismissal.

from notes by Lewis Foreman 2004

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