Album: John Wilson, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Made in Britain (Avie)


John Wilson is probably best known for his light-entertainment orchestral work, especially his restorations of classic film scores – a background which, it turns out, equips him well for this anthology of British musical landscapes.

Most celebrate an idealised pastoral view of rustic Avalon, with Hovis-advert oboe well to the fore in George Butterworth's "Two English Idylls", based on Sussex folk songs, and the title of Arnold Bax's "The Happy Forest" aptly conveying its excessively cheerful tone, which seems to derive from some pre-Wordsworthian Edenic paradise. But Vaughan Williams is the king of this domain: "The Lark Ascending" was recently voted Britain's favourite classical piece, and is airily rendered here by James Clark.

DOWNLOAD THIS: The Lark Ascending; Nell Gwynn Overture; English Folk Song Suite