I was looking forward to hearing this new CD from Rumon Gamba, as his two previous Chandos collections - "Overtures from the British Isles" (volumes 1 & 2) - were excellent, innovative and immensely enjoyable.
My impression of this new disc, however, is one of pervading solace and a touch of monotony. Taken as a whole, this program leans toward the sleepy and dreamy, as there is not sufficient variety of mood in the selections as presented. We certainly are treated to long singing lines over a lush, rich orchestral palette. But it's perhaps too much of a good thing by the time it's over. I found myself longing for some Haydn or Mozart - something articulate; something with much needed light-and-day relief from the gorgeousness.
As to the music, all of this is wonderful stuff, though not all of them are lost masterpieces. The opening Spring, by Frederic Austin, is a certainly a delightful thing, and itself offers the most uplifting piece of this collection. The Vaughan Williams, in particular, is a step above the rest in accomplishment and sheer musical creation.
I enjoyed listening to this CD for the excellent playing and recording quality. But I do wish Chandos had provided a bit more variety in the chosen program.