The present collection of Augusta Read Thomas's works spans 18 years, from 1999 to 2017. It juxtaposes the two sides of Thomas that we've already encountered in previous volumes, the large-scale thinker in the cello concerto Ritual Incantations, the piano trio Klee Musings and the recent string quartet Chi, and the miniaturist in the six other works which on this disc act as satellites to the above-mentioned three larger works. Two sides that, paradoxically, seem to share more similarities than differences. Common to all the works collected here are the sunny, free-wheeling lyricism, luminosity, sense of colour, spontaneity, caprice, playfulness and spirituality which have long been ineradicable characteristics of her nuanced music, all tied up with an irrepressible energy and a sense of irreducible concision no matter how expansive the time frame, of taking all the time in the world to say everything that needs to be said in any given piece, but not a second more than that!
Sir Thomas Beecham was acknowledged as the finest interpreter of Delius' music during the last century. The composer's friend and biographer, his performances remain a benchmark against which all must be judged. This invaluable anthology contains some of the finest he taped for EMI in the 1940's and 50's. The first two discs contain all those works he recorded in stereo. They comprise a selection of shorter works, the complete Florida Suite and a wonderful 'Songs of Sunset' - settings of 'fin du siecle' poems by Ernest Dowson - splendidly sung by John Cameron and Maureen Forrester.