Edward German’s Music Merrie as Ever
This release is another reissue of Marco Polo’s “British Light Music” series. Edward German was one of the earlier British light classical composers.
Arthur Sullivan considered Edward German his musical heir. And Edward Elgar admired his music. Those two statements should give you a fair idea of German’s style.
With one exception, the works on this release predate the First World War. And that’s significant. There was a huge cultural shift after the war, and the Merrie Old England of German’s music was swept away.
And merrie it is. German’s style embraces the folk traditions of England. The shapes of the melodies sound distinctively English — even when not quoting folk songs. Like Gilbert and Sullivan, it’s upbeat and good-natured. This is music for entertainment, and of exceptional quality.
German is an effective orchestrator. His shifting and rearranging of instrumental combinations keep the listener actively engaged. Even as his melodies charm and beguile.
The sun may have set on the British Empire, but it’s spirited joie de vivre lives on in German’s music.
Edward German: Merrie England Suite
British Light Music, Vol. 10
Nell Gwyn; Gipsy Suite; Romeo and Juliet
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Adrian Leaper, conductor