On ‘Songs for Strings’, Donald Fraser demonstrates his flair for the art of arranging, crafting beautiful new versions for string orchestra of classic works by John Dowland, Edward Elgar, Henry Purcell, Antonio Vivaldi and others.
In the 1990s, Donald Fraser scored a hit with his orchestral arrangement of Marin Marais’ baroque classic The Bells of St. Genevieve which reached the Top 5 of Billboard’s Classical Chart and remains a radio evergreen to this day. Numerous commissions for arrangements followed for musicians such as The King’s Singers, Yehudi Menuhin and the English Chamber Orchestra. In 2016, AVIE released Don’s large-scale orchestration of Edward Elgar’s Piano Quintet and choral version of Sea Pictures, which charted in the Top 10 of the UK Specialist Classical Chart.
Don now returns to the art of arranging smaller scale, classic works by John Dowland, Henry Purcell, Antonio Vivaldi and others, including new versions of his own “Amen” from A Christmas Symphony which was written for and premiered by soprano Jessye Norman, a new re-mix of The Bells of St. Genevieve and orchestrations of four Elgar art songs that evoke the album’s title, Songs for Strings.
Critical acclaim for Donald Fraser’s orchestration of Elgar’s piano quintet and choral version of Sea Pictures (AV2362):
“a revelation...a triumph of transcription.” - Classical Music Magazine, Premiere of the Year
”Richly upholstered orchestration.” - Gramophone
”remarkable...beautifully realised...It says a lot for Fraser’s skills as an orchestrator.” - BBC Music Magazine