Monday, 5 January 2009

John White & Alun Hoddinott: Piano Music on Lyrita.

John WHITE (b. 1936) Piano Sonata No.1 (1956) Piano Sonata No.5 (1959) Piano Sonata No.4 (1959) Piano Sonata No.9 (1960) Alun HODDINOTT (1929-2008) Piano Sonata No.1, op.17 (1959) Nocturne No.2, op.16/1 (1959) Piano Sonata No.2, op.27 (1962) Nocturne No.1, op.9 (1956) Elegy, op.18/3 (1959) Colin Kingsley & Valerie Tryon, pianists. LYRITA REAM.2108

Alas I did not get this excellent CD to review – and I have not yet got round to buying it. Although I have had the vinyl for many years in my collection, I just do not get a round to playing them. The cycle of Hoddinott Sonatas were issued on Nimbus with Martin Jones at the piano. These have satisfied my listening over the last few years. However it is certainly great to have this music from the Lyrita archives back on-line - as it were! Furthermore it is surely good to have this release at the end of the year in which Alun Hoddinott died.

Bob Briggs has given a thoughtful review at MusicWeb International. He begins his consideration of these discs by suggesting that “This may seem an unusual marriage of composers, but it's not as strange as you might think. Both composers have written extensively for the piano - White is a fine pianist himself - and both have displayed a fascination with instrumental sonorities. Each has composed in all genres, and composed prolifically. Most importantly, and I keep writing this, but I do feel that it's important, each can really communicate with the audience.”

After an impressive resume of the Sonatas and other works from both composers he concludes by noting that “these are amongst the most important re-issues from Lyrita's early days. Although both composers have been recorded subsequently, these recordings represent some of their very earliest musical thoughts. These are the very pieces which tend to be overlooked when assessing a composer's works."

Please read Bob Briggs full review at MusicWeb International

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