I remember seeing this LP lying around the school music room. It was my first introduction to some of these favourite pieces of British Music. I had forgotten all about it until I discovered (by chance) a copy on sale on 'ebay'.
The LP featured George Butterworth’s beautiful Rhapsody: A Shropshire Lad along with his The Banks of Green Willow - both for orchestra. These were compiled from an earlier recording LXT5015 which had been issued in April 1955. Sir Adrian Boult was conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The same conductor also contributed the lively Portsmouth Point by William Walton along with same composer’s miniature Siesta. These were culled from LXT5028. Finally, there was a performance of Edward Elgar’s charming Wand of Youth Suite No.1 by the Dutch conductor Eduard van Beinum. This had been previously released on LXT5279 in 1956.
The reviewer on The Gramophone notes Boult’s ‘most beautiful Butterworth’ which is a ‘most welcome performance and ‘that odd Walton Siesta’. He suggests that the sound is very good for both the Butterworth pieces, though ‘not ideally vivid enough for Walton Portsmouth Point. He relishes Beinum rendition of The Wand of Youth Suite.
I was never to own a copy of this record, however, in 1972 the works were to be released on the well-loved Decca Eclipse label. This was as a part of the four-volume set also called a Festival of English Music. I still have these well loved and well used records.
Further post (hopefully) will look at the original recordings of these works and also consider the re-issues on CD.