The festive music of Roderick Elms

The name of Roderick Elms will be familiar to all readers though his long association with the BBC as pianist and organist and in particular his contributions to “Friday Night is Music Night” and working with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Many will also be aware of his work as a composer and his CDs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Aurora Ensemble which have been reviewed in these pages.

This latest disc takes its name from the fact that all the instrumental items are written for wind instruments without strings or percussion. A splendid disc with a fresh approach the music of Christmas it features an impressive list of performers – The Joyful Company of Singers for the vocal items and for the instrumental pieces The Aurora Ensemble, Chaconne Brass, Illumina Duo (Trumpet and Organ) John Anderson (Oboe) and Joanna Smith (Piano) – not all at the same time incidentally ! This gives us an great variety of music with the brass and choral items conducted by Bramwell Tovey ( Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra)

The majority of pieces are original Elms compositions with several more traditional works such as “Past 3’clock”, “Deck the Hall” and “A Wexford Carol” in fresh arrangements in the unique Roderick Elms style. Two non Elms items appear in the shape of “A Calypso Carol” and of course “Rudolph…..etc!” this featuring the wonderful oboe of John Anderson, a familiar face on the London Orchestral scene. Chaconne Brass contribute a splendid arrangement entitled “A Christmas Mudley” (not a mis-print!), and The Aurora Ensemble “Holly’s Nightmare”!- both groups also appearing with the choir.

If you are looking for a CD with a fresh and original approach to the season of goodwill – look no further!!.


© David Daniels.

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