Songs for Strings

Songs for Strings—English Symphony & English Chamber Orchestras/Donald Fraser (Avie 2391)

Each year, WCLV enthusiastically celebrates Monty Python Day on October 5, and although this CD has absolutely nothing to do with Monty Python, it likely bubbled to the surface because in October, we were in what you might call “an Anglo state of mind.”  Songs for Strings is a real delight.  Donald Fraser has reimagined works by Dowland, Purcell, Elgar and others, arranging them for strings – specifically, for the English Symphony Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra.  Among the many satisfying cuts on the disc are the setting of Antonio Lotti’s beloved 8-part Crucifixus, and arrangements of three Elgar art songs, including the haunting and seldom heard Pleading,.   Fraser shares his own Epilogue for Strings and puts his touch on Lord Lovat’s Lament, written in the 18th century by one of Fraser’s Scottish ancestors.  Don’t miss the backstory in the liner notes!   

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