This release includes popular favorites such as “London Bridge,” and “Calling All Workers.” The cornerstones of the program are three larger, multi-movement works.
“The Selfish Giant” is based on Oscar Wilde’s story. Coates provides a musical language others would adopt for orchestral fairy tales.
“The Enchanted Garden” began as a ballet commission, but soon became a concert staple. Imagine a genial Tchaikovsky (with a British accent) — that was my impression of this delightful score.
The “Summer Days” suite is the earliest, dating from 1919. Originally, I thought it sounded a little cliche, but that was only because so many film composers have “borrowed” from it. This is the original.
Conductor John Wood is a Coates scholar and edited some of these works for performance. He leads the BBC Philharmonic with a surety of purpose. Light classical music — like comedy — is hard. Wood makes it sound effortless.
Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.
Eric Coates: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2
BBC Philharmonic; John Wilson, conductor