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Track(s) taken from CDA67444

Elegy for James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch, Op 50

1939; after the portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller in the National Portrait Gallery

Guildhall Strings, Robert Salter (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
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: 7 minutes 6 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)
This deeply felt short piece for string orchestra dates from 1939 and was first performed in 1982. Here Milford looks to the example of his teacher, Vaughan Williams, for the disposition of his forces in the Elegy, and certainly the shadow of Vaughan Williams’s ‘Tallis Fantasia’ can be felt at various points, not least the opening and the wide spacing of many chordal passages throughout. Yet unlike Vaughan Williams, Milford’s fast driving rhythmic middle section moves the piece onto a new plane. When the slow music returns Milford has a solo violin soar above the sonorous strings before a solo string quartet mutters a distant wraith of the fast music, soon echoed increasingly quietly by the string tutti, now muted, as if Milford before the outbreak of war was hearing the ‘steady drummer, drumming like a voice in dreams’. The painting Milford responded to was said to be of the son of Charles II and Lucy Walter though it is now not believed to be James Scott, of whom the National Portrait Gallery have many other portraits. Milford also mis-spells Buccleuch on his manuscript with a ‘g’ instead of ‘c’ at the end.

from notes by Lewis Foreman © 2004

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