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Gareth Walters Song-Cycles and Chamber Music

Cân y galon (Song of the Heart) for soprano and string quartet (1970)
Little Suite for Flute and Harp (1960s)
Violin Sonata (1989-96)
Berceuse for harp (1965)
Poésies du soir for mezzo and chamber orchestra (1961)

Carolyn Foulkes (soprano)
Wendy Dawn Thompson (mezzo)
Adam Summerhayes (violin)
Nicola Elmer (piano)
Adam Walker (flute)
London Concertante/Gregory Rose

TOCCATA TOCC 0090 [69 mins]rec. 2006 first recordings

New Year Resolution - to catch up with some discs that slipped through the reviewing net last year !

Gareth Walters (b.1928) was a man of the BBC and composed alongside his day job and after retiring. This is an admirable compilation of song cycles separated by instrumental works, the most notable of those a violin sonata as good as many more famous ones played regularly. It would grace any recital and assure a warm reception.The flute/harp piece is nice, but requires a little more "flair" in its delivery, I thought.

Of the song cycles, Cân y galon is the more interesting and is sung with pure soprano by Carolyn Foulkes; a pity that it needs a Welsh singer, limiting likely performances of the original. Walters has translated the evocative texts; maybe they'd go for the music? Certainly worth exploring that.

The composer's notes are good and there are nice photos of the soloists; but designers should contrive to avoid the "target" in the middle of the tray! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_disc_packaging#Weaknesses

Recommended; see Musicweb for a fuller appreciation.

Peter Grahame Woolf