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Richard Rodney Bennett

Publisher: Novello & Co

Seven Country Dances (2000)
Novello & Co Ltd
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
17 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
oboe [saxophone]
Programme Note
Richard Rodney Bennett Seven Country Dances (2000)
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  • Ensemble
    Brno Philharmonic Orchestra
    Music Sales :
  • Ensemble
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Amy Dickson
    George Vass
    Dutton Epoch:
Nicholas Daniel's oboe is a distinctive and dominant feature of the [Britten] Sinfonia at any time; as a soloist in Bennett's Seven Country Dances, he was as eloquent and persuasive as ever. Bennett's settings of these folksy tunes…have deft, imaginative polish that is all his own.
Erica Jeal, The Guardian,01/03/2001
Richard Rodney Bennett turns 65 this year, and a distinguished crease or two now lines that pluckish visage. But this most protean of composers shows no sign of wanting to trade his famously silky skills for a bus pass yet. Not that his latest creation is his own work. His Seven Country Dances, premiered by the oboist Nicholas Daniel and the Britten Sinfonia under Nicholas Cleobury's direction, poaches its melodies from a 17th-century English fiddle-tune collection, Playford's Dancing Master. But any notion that this is some sort of straitlaced "authentic" transcription is swiftly dispelled. Whether boisterously rustic or achingly melancholic, the Playford tunes are merely starting-points round which Bennett weaves ardent rhapsodies full of purple harmonies and plump textures. Both in style and spirit they evoke the early 20th-century folk-song arrangements of Vaughan Williams, Grainger and Warlock: light music, certainly, but immaculately crafted. And they make perfect showcases for Daniel, an oboist who can be perky or beguiling, virtuostic or languid, as each phrase demands.
Richard Morrison, The Times,01/01/2001
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