Paul Ben-Haim’s rising profile on disc receives a substantial boost with this ravishing Chandos release. Marking the debut on disc of Omar Meir Wellber as the BBC Philharmonic’s chief conductor, it also launches what promises to be, on the strength of this first instalment, a revelatory series exploring the Music of Israel.

Paul Ben-Haim

What comes most vividly into focus here is Ben-Haim’s claim to a place alongside Zemlinsky and Korngold as composer of hypnotically ripe emotions, and the wherewithal to clothe them in richly executed, Puccini-like orchestral washes framed by lush, affecting harmonies and delicately dotted by telling instrumental details.

There’s something of Debussy’s diaphanous Pelléas et Mélisandein the intoxicatingly heady fantasy of Pan, a setting of texts by the German poet...

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