"...This fourth volume may seem to be mainly something of a gathering in of less well-known material and unusual, long-forgotten vocal arrangements of a few favourite pieces. Nevertheless they are delivered with such enthusiasm and joie de vivre, that this latest collection is irresistible."
Ian Lace - MusicWeb-International.com - October 2008
Artistic Quality 9 Sound quality 9
"It’s usual to say, somewhat condescendingly, that Leroy Anderson was a great “light music” composer, but the fact is that he was a great composer. Period. The ability to write a memorable tune is priceless, as Brahms (no slouch in the tune department) recognized in speaking of Dvorák, and it more than compensates for any amount of failings in other departments. Anderson had remarkably few of those: his orchestrations are masterly, his craftsmanship always top-notch. The three suites included here (Scottish, Irish, and Alma Mater) are beautifully put together and incredibly catchy.The vocal items…are fetchingly sung by Kim Criswell and William Dazeley, and here receive their world premiere recordings. The program ends with one of Anderson’s larger works, the dazzling Christmas Festival. Leonard Slatkin, an old hand in this music, conducts with unassuming mastery, and the BBC Concert Orchestra sounds entirely at home in the idiom. Very good engineering completes this delectable package. Like the rest of this series, this is definitely worth collecting."
David Hurwitz - ClassicsToday.com - July 2010
"On Volume 4 of this Naxos series [8.559381], only the delightful Summer Skies falls into the familiar format of Anderson orchestral miniature. The rest constitutes arrangements, including Anderson’s exquisitely wrought orchestration of MacDowell’s To a Wild Rose. If the inclusion of vocal arrangements of Blue Tango, Forgotten Dreams and Belle of the Ball in a collection of orchestral works seems strange, few will object to the chance to hear Tin Pan Alley’s attempts to capitalise on Anderson’s success. The Irish Suite (the main item on this disc)—a clever compilation of Irish folk tunes—has already been recorded by Fiedler, Anderson himself (four movements only) and Fennell, and is done here with no less grace, charm and excitement. On the back of its success, Anderson conceived his Scottish Suite, but he completed only four of the planned six movements, recorded only two, and then withdrew the suite altogether. Though overall nowhere near as clever a piece as its predecessor, it’s good to have the whole included here; “Turn ye to me” is especially beautifully done. Previous volumes in this series have included suites of carols; however, the arrangement of less devotional melodies within the Christmas overture heard here seems to me much the most attractive of such seasonal offerings."
Andrew Lamb - Gramophone magazine - December 2008
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