British Music for Recorder

ANTHONY BURGESS (1917-1993): Sonatina, Sonata No. 1 in C, 3 Pezzetti, Siciliano, WILFRED JOSEPHS (1927-1997): Sonatine, Op. 4, PETER POPE (1917-1991): Sonatina, HERBERT MURRILL (1909-1952): Sarabande, MÁTYÁS SEIBER (1905-1960): Pastorale, ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Interludes from Hamlet (arr. David Ellis [b. 1933]), NICHOLAS MARSHALL (b.1942): Sonata, ALAN GIBBS (b.1932): Blithe Spirit, GORDON CROSSE (b.1937): The Thing with Feathers, BARRY FERGUSON (b.1942): The Untamed has a Language but no Words, DAVID DUBERY (b.1948): Sonata, ROY HEATON SMITH (b.1928): Sonatina alla Fantasia, Op. 23, DICK BLACKFORD (b.1936): Sonata alla Danza, CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT (b.1954): Sonata, JOHN SULLIVAN (b.1951): Joie de Vivre.

Catalogue Number: 10P060

Label: Metier

Reference: msv 77202

Format: CD

Price: $25.98

Description: The remarkable British novelist Anthony Burgess, one of the most elegant, stylish and erudite practitioners of the English language of our time, started out with aspirations as a composer, turning only later in life to a full-time literary output, and continued to compose prolifically throughout his life. It has to be said that his finely crafted compositions largely lack the dazzling virtuosity of his use of language, and his considerable body of recorder music, written for his son, a performer on this and other wind instruments, falls into the category of agreeable, rather conservative English music, at best comparable perhaps to Lennox Berkeley. Nonetheless, an interesting insight into the mind of a polymath who took himself seriously as a composer, and deserves similar consideration from a music-loving public. The other composers here mostly share a similar overall æsthetic, with a range of thoroughly accessible, succinct, tonal three-movement sonatas and sonatinas, emphasizing the recorder's playful qualities in fast movements and gentle melodiousness in slow ones. The Gibbs and Crosse bird pieces and the Ferguson (for several different recorders) expand the instrument's expressive range somewhat, with the Wright (with jazz allusions) and Seiber (with echoes of Hungarian folk music) occupying a rather more chromatic idiom than much of the music here. An altogether most attractive recital, which enthusiasts for this charming, unpretentious and often undervalued instrument will find pleasantly rewarding. 2 CDs. John Turner (recorder), Harvey Davies (piano).

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