Sadly Tantara do not give dates for composers or works
here. Going by the heard evidence these appear to be works from
the second half of the last century. There are two cello sonatas
one of which is in one songful movement (Cundick). Nibley's sonata
is in three movements and Sargent's Conversations is also
Cundick has the cello as the sweet singer
with a faint touch of Oriental colour and Ravelian accenting.
This he mobilises alongside a hoarsely singing way familiar from
the Bax and Moeran cello sonatas. One of the themes steers desperately
close to Korngold. Very appealing - as much as the Crawford Gates
horn sonata on Tantara CD TCD0799LL4. While that horn sonata disc
is rather uniform in style there are some real ‘gear changes’
in this one. Thus the transition between Cundick and Sargent
is violent: singing impressionism gives way to a fractured and
fractiously dissonant environment. Stern souls will love the theatre
of it all. The Hicks work is further out on the avant-garde
branch full of effects and fragmentation though finally retreating
into the aural equivalent of a Garden of Death. The Nibley
(didn't he record a disc of music by Gottschalk some years ago)
takes us back to contoured lyricism encased in the aggressive
bloodrush of a Bernstein or Prokofiev. While Steven Johnson's
notes refer to Schumann I thought more of Fauré especially
in the 'centre of gravity' provided by Nibley's elegiac Adagio.
Rather short playing time. A disc of contrasts
created by the stylistic divide between the two sonatas on one
side and the other works. The Cundick and Nibley works are outstanding.
They are most beautifully performed and recorded.