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Milton A. Caine
American Record Guide, October 2000

"As the disc spins on, you get the impression that Docker was extremely indebted to, or at least strongly influenced by Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan) and Offenbach; even a smidgen of a Ravel-like sound creeps in. His instrumentation is extremely good-bright, chipper, soulful when necessary.

"As for the performances, William Davies proves himself to be quite facile on the piano; David Presley handles the oboe nicely. Conductor Barry Knight is apparently an expert on British light music and does a commendable job."

Paul A Snook
Fanfare, October 2000

"This latest installment in Marco Polo's 'British Light Music' series offers a virtual modern-day apotheosis of the venerable 'palmcourt' salon music of a century or more ago.

"Robert Docker (1918-92) was in many ways an atypical figure in the world of contemporary light music. Classically trained and oriented, he first made a name for himself as a recital accompanist for operatic singers. Later on he produced a small but select body of work that builds upon the refined and civilized tradition of Elgar, German, and Coleridge-Taylor.

"Excellent notes by conductor Barry Knight, who leads the RTE Concert Orchestra of Ireland in immaculate and idiomatic readings.

"Another essential contribution to the recorded library of light concert music."

Brian Hunt
The Daily Telegraph (Australia), July 2000

"Better known as an arranger than a composer, the London-born Robert Docker (1918-92) nevertheless wrote several enduring pieces of light orchestral music. They range from whimsical miniatures (Tabarinage, Fairy Dance Reel) to works of length and stature. The latter include the 17-minute concerto, Three Contrasts for Oboe and Strings, which captures the personality of the instrument extremely well: jaunty but unassuming in the outer movements, poignantly contemplative in the central Romanza. Otherwise, the shorter works prove to be the most satisfying. The Irish orchestra is spirited ...a thoroughly worthwhile survey of a musician whose contribution to the light music scene clearly inspired great affection."

BMS News, June 2000

"Robert Docker (1918-1992) was perhaps best known as a pianist and arranger on the British light music scene, but as this well recorded CD shows, he was a fine composer too. Three of the tracks here, The Spirit of Cambria, Fairy Dance Reel and Blue Ribbons indeed demonstrate the Docker skill at arranging, in these cases, traditional tunes from Wales, Ireland and England. The original compositions mostly have an air of parody, as is not unusual in light music, but they are brilliantly done. Legend is in the tradition of the 'film piano concerto', though, unlike the Warsaw Concerto and Cornist Rhapsody, it never reached the large screen. Scenes de Ballet are delightful evocations of classic ballet music, Scene du Bal of a ballroom dance. Tabarinage ('Buffonry'), perhaps Docker's best known and most recorded original composition is an Offenbachian can-can. In the Pastiche Variations, a major work and again for piano and orchestra, each variation is in the style of a different composer. Arguably the finest work here, though, is the Three Contrasts for oboe and strings, whose middle Romanza movement has much beauty. David Preley plays them with poise, William Davies his two pieces with exuberance and with the RTE Orchestra in stylish form this undoubtedly a disc which should give a lot of pleasure."

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