Gramophone

One of the happiest of recent historical releases presents a two-CD sequence of shellac recordings devoted to the music of Peter Warlock, records loaned from the John Bishop Collection and that include some treasurable performances that would otherwise be extremely difficult to track down. For me the highlight of the set is a memorable 1950 recording of The Curlew where the eloquent tenor René Soames is supported by oboist Leon Goossens and the Aeolian String Quartet; music-making that is both intimate and intense.

There are no fewer than three versions of the Capriol Suite included – by the London Chamber Orchestra under Anthony Bernard, the Constant Lambert String Orchestra, and Joseph Szigeti with Nikita Magaloff at the piano – as well as the Serenade (Barbirolli), Purcell arranged Warlock (Pasquier Trio, Griller Quartet), and a whole host of songs (featuring Peter Dawson, John Goss, John Armstrong, Parry Jones, Roy Henderson, Nancy Evans, Oscar Natzke, the English Singers and others). The transfers are good and so are the notes.

—Rob Cowan