Guildhall String Ensemble

Robin Milford: Fishing by Moonlight

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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Robin Milford's works may seem unfairly neglected and belatedly receiving their due, but this 2004 Hyperion disc may be of interest to fans of early twentieth century British music and few others. Milford's conservative style is a blend of the influences of Vaughan Williams and Holst, and his short pieces for string orchestra may also remind listeners of music by Finzi or Warlock. Yet a depressive quality permeates Milford's work, relieved only occasionally by short bursts of fragile, fleeting happiness. Fishing by Moonlight, the Elegiac Meditation, Elegy for James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch, and the Interlude for flute and strings are not exactly lugubrious, but their gray coloration and melancholic expressions produce an oppressive, overcast atmosphere. Throughout this program, one yearns for signs of ambition, vitality, brilliance, and virtuosity, yet Milford seems singularly unambitious and uninterested in colorful technical displays. The Miniature Concerto in G, the Orchestral Interludes (2), and the unfestive Festival Suite offer ambiguous moods, but they are still tinged with sadness, and Milford's modal shadings of major keys make them seem even more forlorn. The Guildhall Strings, with flutist Julian Sperry, pianist Julian Milford, and soprano Carys-Anne Lane, are competent and sympathetic, but their efforts lend little excitement to this wan music.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Guildhall String Ensemble 06:34 Amazon
Miniature String Quartet in G (Minature Concerto in G), Op. 35
2 Guildhall String Ensemble 03:12 Amazon
3 Guildhall String Ensemble 03:31 Amazon
4 Guildhall String Ensemble 02:24 Amazon
5 Guildhall String Ensemble 08:26 Amazon
Orchestral Interludes (2) , for flute, strings & piano, Op. 19e
6 Guildhall String Ensemble 01:55 Amazon
7 Guildhall String Ensemble 01:55 Amazon
Go, little book, suite for flute, soprano & strings, Op. 18
8 Guildhall String Ensemble 01:00 Amazon
9 Guildhall String Ensemble 02:42 Amazon
10 Guildhall String Ensemble 02:49 Amazon
11 Guildhall String Ensemble 00:40 Amazon
12 Guildhall String Ensemble 02:50 Amazon
13 Guildhall String Ensemble 01:45 Amazon
14 Guildhall String Ensemble 01:30 Amazon
15 Guildhall String Ensemble 01:37 Amazon
16 Guildhall String Ensemble 07:09 Amazon
17 Guildhall String Ensemble 05:11 Amazon
Festival Suite, for string orchestra, Op. 97
18 Guildhall String Ensemble 02:55 Amazon
19 Guildhall String Ensemble 03:34 Amazon
20 Guildhall String Ensemble 04:26 Amazon
21 Guildhall String Ensemble 03:29 Amazon
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