Tuesday, 8 September 2009

British Piano Pieces: Some Forgotten Works

I recently found an advert at the back of an old copy of The Musical Times in the Royal College of Music. There are some 37 pieces or sets of pieces by thirteen composers. Apart from the recordings of music by Frank Bridge and John Ireland and a little known CD of Roger Quilter’s piano works, virtually all of these composers and their music are not represented in the CD catalogues. This is perhaps most surprising in the case of Samuel Coleridge Taylor and the considerable amount of piano music that he wrote. Perhaps the titles of the works listed here (Six Negro Melodies etc.) would be deemed insensitive and therefore will be ignored? This is a pity as I have perused the score of these pieces and believe that they are deserving of interest. Maybe someone, someday will republish the score with a revised title.
For my taste the key desideratum from this advert would be Alec Rowley (anything in this list, but especially the North Sea Fantasies) and the Joseph Speaight’s Tone Pictures. However, I would be interested in and delighted to hear the lot!

And finally before someone writes to tell me, I do realise that Ethelbert Nevin – of Narcissus fame – was an American. One or two of the others I am not so sure about.

Alec Rowley:-
A Flower Suite
A Lantern Suite
A Chinese Suite
From the Fairy Hills
North Sea Fantasies
Miniature Dance Suite
Kew Gardens Suite

Anthony Bernard:-
On Merivale Green

Charles Vincent:-
Venetian Sketches
The Garden of Allah
The Garden of Sweet Perfumes
Atmospheric Sketches
Three Short Poems
The Bride’s Bouquet
Six Miniatures

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor:-
Scenes from an Imaginary Ballet
Six Negro Melodies
Second Book of Six Negro Melodies

Ernest Fowles:-
Hook Norton Suite

Ethelbert Nevin:-
Four Songs without Word

Frank Bridge:-
Three Sketches
Four Characteristic Pieces
Three Improvisations (for left hand)
Three Miniature Pastorals

John Heath:-
Six Inventions

John Ireland:-
Four Preludes
Leaves from a Childs Sketchbook

Joseph Speaight:-
Tone Pictures

Leo Livens:-
The Moorlands

Norman Peterkin:-
Dreamer’s Tales

Roger Quilter:-
Dance in Twilight
Summer Evening
At a Country Fair
In a Gondola
Three Studies


SirPadgett said...

A new solution to Elgar's Enigma Theme has been discovered: "Ein' Feste Burg ist unser Gott" by Martin Luther. "A Mighty Fortress is our God" is the most famouns hymn of the Reformation, and it was quoted in the works of Bach, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Raff, and Meyerbeer. Could it be the missing theme everyone has been searching for over the past 110 years?

See http://enigmathemeunmasked.blogspot.com/

Mathias Richter said...

This website shows a few CDs of music by S. Coleridge-Taylor, some of them containing piano works. http://chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com/Song.html
The complete Negro Melodies and the ballet suite seem to have been released though I haven't heard them yet.