Not Now, Bernard and Other Stories
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Label: Orchid Classics
Cat No: ORC100115
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 7th February 2020
WorksToy Symphony, op.62
Isabel's Noisy Tummy
Not Now, Bernard
The Knight Who Took All Day
Annabel Lee (arr. Bernard Hughes)
ArtistsAlexander Armstrong (narrator)
Orchestra of the Swan
Not Now, Bernard is an all-time classic story by David McKee, set to music by Bernard Hughes (b.1974) with melodic charm and a subversive sense of fun. Alexander Armstrong recounts it along with companion piece Isabelís Noisy Tummy as well as Hughesís The Knight Who Took All Day, which challenges chivalric convention with its subversive story of female empowerment.
Conductor Tom Hammond and members of the Orchestra of the Swan shape compelling interpretations, enriched by Armstrongís gleeful narration. They also raise a riot of sound in Malcolm Arnoldís Toy Symphony (1957), complete with quail, cuckoo, guardís whistle and gloriously irritating toy trumpets.
The albumís mood darkens in John Irelandís haunting melodrama Annabel Lee, a spine-tingling setting of Edgar Allan Poeís final poem presented here in Bernard Hughesís specially arranged chamber version, before Armstrong breezes through Judith Weirís brilliant Thread! (1981), an early work inspired by the Bayeux Tapestryís cartoonish images.
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