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Music for a Summer Afternoon

Music for a Summer Afternoon

Ref: CDG1089

13 tracks 62 min
Click here to preview trk 9

Favourites for drifting and dreaming

The perfect programme of relaxing music for a lazy summer afternoon, wherever it is spent, indoors or out, in the garden or on the river. What could be more fitting than Coates' 'Summer Days' Suite' and Stanford's 'The Bluebird'.

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Music for a Summer Afternoon
Favourites for drifting and dreaming

The perfect programme of relaxing music for a lazy, hot summer afternoon, wherever it is spent, indoors or out, in the garden or on the river. And what could be more fitting than Coates' 'Summer Days' Suite and Stanford's 'The Bluebird'?

1. Coates: Summer Days Suite Eric Coates (1886-1957)
In a country lane - On the edge of a lake - At the dance
The New Queen's Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Eric Coates
2. Flower piece Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Martin Souter
3. June Roger Quilter (1877-1953)
Penelope Martin-Smith with Martin Souter
4. In an English country garden Percy Grainger (1882-1961)
Arranged and performed by Martin Souter
5. The bluebird Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
The Cherwell Singers conducted by Julia Craig-McFeely
6. How pleasant and delightful Traditional
Ian Giles
7. Summer night on the river Frederick Delius (1862-1934)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham
8. Miniature Suite Eric Coates Children's Dance - Intermezzo - Scene du bal
The Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by Clarence Raybould
9. En bateau Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
James Gregory with Martin Souter
10. The lark in the clear air Traditional
Ian Giles
11. Bruyères Claude Debussy
Martin Souter
12. Sicilienne Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) James Gregory with Martin Souter
13. Song without words No1 Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Martin Souter

This compilation P & C 2004 Classical Communications Ltd
Image: Portrait of my Daughters, Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951), Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, USA/Bridgeman Art Library
Programme notes by Martin Moritz
Made in Great Britain

For further information on The Gift of Music range of high quality CDs, please ask for a catalogue or visit our website: t: 01865 882920, www.thegiftofmusic.com

Music for a Summer Afternoon
Favourites for drifting and dreaming

We British are obsessed with weather. Hardly a conversation goes by without this most controversial of subjects not being raised. Even the most reserved by nature of us will use the weather as an 'ice breaker' (no pun intended!). To feed our national preoccupation, the televised weather reports have become mini-extravaganzas in their own right. Presenters with jolly personalities regale us with the most detailed of information about conditions, not just for the day in hand, but anything up to a week later. And we learn of hurricanes and blizzards and extreme rain falls etc around the globe on a regular basis.

And whilst we are on the subject, there is that perennial question, rhetorical or answerable, that always becomes the subject of debate: were the summers of yore hotter and sunnier than they are now? If we believe they were, could we not be accused of 'rose-tinting' our memories? It is the way we want, or arguably, need to remember them. It is an extension of that hoary, old cry that 'everything was so much better then'. Well, were they? To redress the balance, someone is certain to pipe up with reminiscences of washed-out holidays, freezing bank holidays and worse.

And then the statistics are waved in our faces to either prove or disprove the reliability of our memories. But do we really want to accept the evidence? Statistics, of course, are suspect and are subject to 'hidden agendas'.

Composers, however, certainly do take a positive stance about summers. The warmth is almost tangible in their music - by turns languorous, relaxing, escapist and dreamy. Frederick Delius knew instinctively how to convey the intoxicating delights of an English summer. 'Summer Night On The River' is an exquisite example of quintessentially English music. Debussy places us firmly in a boat on his French river, and a feeling of utter tranquillity and nonchalance imbue this perfect, little miniature.

Percy Grainger has a more robust way of depicting summer. His 'In An English Country Garden' bristles with good humour and vivacity. This lovely piano arrangement suggests a folk-dance, carefree and merry.

Eric Coates, too, could be relied upon to produce melodies, full of charm and longing. It was almost as though he could unceasingly draw from a bottomless well of glorious and memorable tunes. His 'Summer Days' suite and 'Miniature' suite are both evocations of summers long gone and redolent of a more innocent age .

So it is now time to bring the battered deck-chair into service, relax, pour out a glass of lemonade (or perhaps something a bit stronger!) and bask in these wonderful summery sounds. For winter listening, substitute the armchair, close your eyes and dream of summers past and the summer to come.

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