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The idea of transcribing Delius’s sonically luscious scores for two pianos might raise an eyebrow – and justifiably, it turns out. However timbrally aware the pianists (and Callaghan and Takenouchi are fine pianists), there can be no substitute for Delius’s lush orchestral canvases. The interest here lies in the various transcribers’ efforts, particularly with Eric Fenby (Delius’s anenuensis) and Percy Grainger in the mix. The slow first section of the Dance Rhapsody No 1 sounds very fragmented. The jaunty dance itself fares a little better, and the recording is fine. Brigg Fair is a mixed bag, with Debussian swirls working well, but long melodic lines sorely needing legato. Interesting to hear Poem of Life and Love (unpublished until 1996), yet still one pines for lush texture. The piece that comes closest to succeeding is the charming, simple La Calinda.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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