- 49th Parallel, suite for orchestra (from the film score): Prelude
- Coastal Command, suite from the film score for orchestra (arranged by Mathieson)
- The Story of a Flemish Farm, suite from the film score for orchestra
This Marco Polo CD offers premiere recordings of the suites from the film scores for Story of a Flemish Farm and Coastal Command. (Chandos issued a recording of the former work in 2005.) Neither of these World War II-inspired works is a great masterpiece, for while there are compelling moments ("U-boat Alert" and "Battle of the Beauforts" from Coastal Command, and "The Wanderings of the Flag" from Flemish Farm, to cite just three cues) the music elsewhere at times utters pale echoes from some of the composer's symphonies, especially "No. 4" and "No. 6." But even here the music is atmospheric and programmatically effective, especially in its scoring. A somewhat more worthwhile effort is "Portraits (3) from the England of Elizabeth," an arrangement by Muir Mathieson of music from the film score "The England of Elizabeth" (1957). The suite is quite engaging in the festivity and exoticism of the opening "Explorer," in the stately lyricism of the "Poet," and in the colorful regality of the closing movement "Queen." The orchestration is imaginative throughout and the melodies distinctive. The work was previously recorded by André Previn and the LSO for RCA. Penny and this Dublin-based ensemble are nearly as convincing, playing with reasonable precision and spirit here and in all works, including the disc's opening cue, the very memorable prelude (later turned into a rousing patriotic song) from The 49th Parallel. The sound is open and clear, but lacks a bit of depth.