A very worthwhile survey of the lighter Elgar. The performances are up there with the best.
Boughton is nicely characterful, not only here but in the other movements too, and the final Dreaming is properly impassioned. Boughton is extremely affecting in the second of the two little Dream children, giving a beautifully nuanced reading at a very slow speed; he is less distinctive in Chanson de matin and Salut d’amour, although his strings play with plenty of feeling and the climax of Salut d’amour is properly weighted. The Gavotte and Mazurka are lightweight pieces which Boughton dispatches somewhat briskly; he shows more feeling in Rosemary and May song, as well as in a beautifully slow and felt Chanson de nuit which concludes the disc.
This is really a very worthwhile survey of the lighter Elgar, and the performances are up there with the best. The recording is naturally resonant but has plenty of presence, and David Threasher’s booklet notes are a model of their kind. August 2012, MusicWeb-International - Paul Corfield Godfrey