I was listening to the Marco Polo CD (8.223425) the other day and ‘discovered’ the fine English waltz—Cascade. It is a shortish piece that lasts under five minutes, but is full of attractive music and ‘no-nonsense’ scoring.
The best-known piece here is the Dance of an Ostracised Imp, a droll little scherzando. But the Galavant is hardly less piquant and charming, the delicious Punchinello sparkles with miniature vitality, and the Simonetta serenade is sleekly beguiling. Curzon liked to write mock Spanishry, and several pieces here have such a Mediterranean influence. Yet their slight elegance and economical scoring come from cooler chimes further north. Both In Malaga and the jolly Robin Hood Suite are more frequently heard on the (military) bandstand, but their delicate central movements gain much from the more subtle orchestral scoring. The performances throughout are played with the finessed and light touch we expect from this fine Slovak series, so ably and sympathetically conducted by Adrian Leaper. The recording is admirable.