Over the Water: Music for Recorder and
String Orchestra Franz REIZENSTEIN (1911–1968)
Partita for recorder and string orchestra Op.13b (1939,
orch. 1954) [10:00] Gordon CROSSE (b.
Watermusic for recorder and string orchestra (1982, orch.
1988) [10:31] Arthur BUTTERWORTH (b.
Rêverie Rêverie ('Farewell Manchester') op.113a for recorder,
harp and string orchestra (2000, orch. 2005) [3:43] Anthony HOPKINS (b.
Suite for recorder, string orchestra and harp (1952, orch.
2006) [6:07] Francis JACKSON (b.
Moonrise for recorder and string orchestra (1999, orch.
2004) [5:07] Arnold COOKE (1906–2005)
Divertimento for recorder and string orchestra (1959) [9:53] Michael HURD (1928–2006)
Three-Piece Suite for recorder and string orchestra (2004)
[4:39] Anthony HEDGES (b.
Three Miniatures for recorder, strings, harp and percussion
(2004, orch. 2005) [7:57] Elis PEHKONEN (b.
Concerto “Over the Water” for recorder and string orchestra
Louise Thomson (harp),
Janet Fulton (percussion)
Manchester Camerata Ensemble/Philip Mackenzie
rec. Hallam Hall, Stockport Grammar School, 13-14 July 2006.
This recording is affectionately dedicated to the memory
of David Munrow, on the thirtieth anniversary of his death
premiere recordings DUTTON
EPOCH CDLX7191 [77:09]
review of a CD of various works for recorder and instrumental
ensemble, I mentioned that John
Turner might well be regarded as the Carl Dolmetsch
of our time. He has played, recorded and commissioned -
and still does - a number of new works for recorder by
composers from a wide-range of musical horizons and generations.
This new release is no exception.
Op.13b is to some extent the link between Dolmetsch
and Turner. It was composed for Dolmetsch, as was Cooke’s Divertimento.
The Partita was originally written for recorder and piano;
but the composer arranged it later for string trio. However,
it seems that he envisaged a version for string orchestra,
since there exist parts for second violin and double
bass as well as a copy of the score with hand-written
annotations to adapt the accompaniment for full string
orchestra. This short Neo-classical work clearly bears
the imprint of Reizenstein’s teacher, Hindemith, and
none the worse for that, for this is a delightful work
of great charm. Incidentally, this and Anthony Hopkins’ delightful Suite have
been recorded by Ross Winters and Andrew Ball (on BMS425CD).
was a time when Gordon Crosse’s music was well served in
terms of commercial recordings, some of which are now available
again on Lyrita. Then, very little of him was heard for many
years, although an odd piece might pop-up again from time
to time. Watermusic, dedicated to John Turner
as are many of the other works in this selection, was also
originally written for recorder and piano and arranged later
for strings. It is in three short movements (Prelude,
Barcarolle and Hornpipe) that never outstay their
is always good to be able to hear some recent piece by Arthur
Butterworth whose beautifully crafted music is still unjustly
overlooked. A recording of all six of his symphonies is a
priority. His short Rêverie Op.113a is based
on the tune FarewellManchester, a popular
ballad at the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s brief sojourn
in Manchester. Originally written for recorder and piano,
this very fine miniature was later scored for recorder, harp
already mentioned earlier in this review, Anthony Hopkins’ delightful Suite has
also been recorded by Ross Winters and Andrew Ball (on BMS425CD).
John Turner suggested an orchestration of the work for strings
and harp; but the composer did not feel able to prepare the
full score that was actually notated by John Turner under
the composer’s supervision.
Jackson may be primarily known as an organist and a composer
of finely crafted choral works; but here is Moonrise,
a short impression for recorder and piano, composed in 1999
and arranged for string orchestra some time later. A beautifully
pupil of Hindemith, the late Arnold Cooke enjoyed a long
and prolific creative life. His huge and varied output includes
works in almost every genre. Though indebted to Hindemith,
Cooke’s music nevertheless managed to be individual, as the
lovely Divertimento for recorder and strings
heard here clearly shows. This lovely work is in three short
and neatly contrasted movements, the whole displaying Cooke’s
lighter vein in a most convincing way.
Hurd’s Three-Piece Suite turned out to be his
final work, completed in 2004. It is another charming set
of three lighthearted miniatures.
Hedges is a versatile composer equally at ease with ‘serious’ concert
music as well as with ‘lighter’ music, both displaying this
composer’s remarkable craftsmanship. As many of the other
works here, Three Miniatures were composed
for recorder and piano. The composer was reluctant to transcribe
it for string orchestra, but eventually took up the challenge.
The result is another delightful piece in three colourful
and neatly characterised movements.
last work here – and the most substantial – is Elis Pehkonen’s Concerto “Over
the Water”. The composer describes it as “a programmatic
piece with Jacobite overtones”, because it “traces the history
of the 45 from Bonnie Prince Charlie’s arrival at
Moidart to the catastrophic battle of Culloden”. It is thus
coincidentally linked to Butterworth’s Rêverie.
The music does not set out to be descriptive à la Richard
Strauss, but has many fine moments of atmospheric writing.
The very opening of the first movement Gathering is
a case in point. It reminded me of the first time I drove
through Glencoe on a wet and misty day! The second movement Advance/Retreat is
more overtly descriptive, whereas the final movement Over
the Water is an epilogue based on Bonnie Prince Charlie’s
tune, on which much of the music is actually founded in one
way or another. It is a most welcome find; I had never heard
a note of Pehkonen’s music.
Turner and the Manchester Camerata play magnificently throughout.
The whole is nicely recorded and the production is well up
to Dutton’s best standards. Do not expect imperishable masterpieces
here but you will find a most attractive selection of many
finely wrought pieces. They make for genuinely pleasurable
listening. I bet that you will end-up whistling some of the
And another perspective from Rob Barnett
Dutton know no fear: a stoutly
packed CD of British works for recorder and orchestra - and
only one of them termed 'concerto'.
Nuremberg-born Reizenstein became
a well-established pillar of the 1940s and 1950s British
music scene. The wan-delicate Bachian atmosphere of the first
three movements of his Partita is dispelled by a carefree vigorous
Gordon Crosse has
done well recently with a Lyrita CD of his Ariadne and Crossings just
issued. His Watermusic flows slowly with caramel
rich ululation from the string orchestra. There is nothing
here of the Reizenstein's Bachian levity or cantilena. This
work mines a seam of lissom melancholia even in the eerie
birdsong of the second movement (2:34).
Arthur Butterworth's Reverie
- Farewell Manchester is a romantic piece with just
a hint of Celtic lilt. The tune on which it is based and
which gives the work its title refers to the ballad recounting
Bonnie Prince Charlie's brief sojourn in that city.
four movement Suite uses the same forces as the Butterworth.
It has all the wisdom of melodic brevity and a typically
English delight in woodwind. Light of heart and countenance
this is music that can be related to the cheerful concertos
of Malcolm Arnold, Gordon Jacob (Hopkins' teacher) and Joseph
Moonrise by Francis
Jackson was orchestrated by Robin Walker. It conveys,
in a slightly chilled atmosphere, the moonlit landscape
of North Yorkshire. Jackson was born at Malton and was
organist at York Minster (1946-1982).
After the chilly light of the
Jackson the Moeran-reminiscent CookeDivertimento skips
along chipper and flighty in its two outer movements. This,
in contrast with the faintly lichen-gothic central movement,
is touched with the same atmosphere as Goossens' By the
Tarn. The finale with its Arnold-like 'hiccups' is redolent
of 1950s film scores.
Anything by Michael Hurd is
going to be worth hearing. His compact little Three-Piece-Suite is
pleasing and memorable - maybe infused with sentimentality
but none the worse for that. The first and third movements
are beguilingly light of spirit and in the finale also touching
(tr. 19, 0.47).
The very recent Three Miniatures by Anthony
Hedges is another smiling confection, this time with
some modest percussion including a tambourine in the first
movement which sometimes sounds Spanish. The central movement
trembles with a clouded echo of Rawsthorne. Once again
the finale is an impudent Arnoldian jackanapes of a molto
At just over 18 minutes Pehkonen's
three movement concerto fascinates with its first movement
bathed in a mild and foggy dissonance for the string orchestra.
This carries over into the solo part. The quick central movement
after the slow first establishes the slow-fast-slow pattern
known from the Delius and Moeran concertos. Over the Water follows
the history of the 45 - Bonnie Prince Charlie again!
The finale gives its title to the whole work - it is misty
with Highland dreams describing a general Gaelic curve to
the quiet heartbeat of the music. There’s a noticeable if
nicely understated skirl and a final regretful sigh.
Who better than John Turner
- who continues and extends the renaissance of the recorder
as a concert and studio voice - to provide the detailed 12
page essay covering in detail each of the works.
Atmospheric, chilly and cheerful
and likely to appeal to anyone who enjoys the compact woodwind
concertos of Malcolm Arnold.
Also from Dutton:-
- British Recorder Concertos Peter Hope Concerto (2003)
for recorder, strings, harp & percussion “Birthday Concerto”
David Beck Flûte-à-Beck:
Concerto (2002) for recorder, strings & harp
Hans Gál Concertino
op.82 (1961) for recorder & string orchestra
David Ellis Divertimento
Elegiaco (in memoriam Ida Carroll) op.54a for recorder, string
orchestra, harp & marimba
Ian Parrott Sinfonia Concertante
(2001-3) for recorder, solo violin, string orchestra & percussion
David Dubery Mrs Harris
in Paris (2003-4) for recorder & string orchestra
John Turner (Recorder)
McKenzie (conductor) DUTTON CDLX 7154
LEIGH - Chamber Works
Romance for Two Violins, Viola, Cello & Piano; Reverie
for Violin & Piano (1922); Music for String Orchestra;
Sonatina for Viola & Piano; Trio for Flute, Oboe & Piano
(1935); Air for Treble Recorder & Piano; Three Movements
for String Quartet (1930); Sonatina for Recorder & Piano;
Student String Quartet
Locrian Ensemble DUTTON CDLX 7143
Edmund Rubbra - The Complete Recorder Works Rubbra: Meditazioni sopra ‘Cœurs Désolés’ op.67;
Air & Variations for Pipes op.70; Fantasia on a Theme
of Machaut op.86; Passacaglia sopra ‘Plusieurs Regrets’ op.113;
Notturno op.106 (1960); Cantata Pastorale op.92;
Sonatina for Treble Recorder & Harpsichord op.128; Fantasia on a Chord
op.154; Introduction, Aria & Fugue op.104; First Study Pieces for Treble
Recorder & Keyboard op.118; Benjamin BRITTEN: Alpine Suite for
Recorder Trio; March from ‘Gloriana’; Morris Dance from ‘Gloriana’; Scherzo
for Recorder Quartet; Guillaume de MACHAUT Plus dure; Juan VASQUEZ En
la fuente del rosel
The Flautadors; Dante Quartet
DUTTON CDLX 7142
Founding Editor Rob Barnett Senior Editor
John Quinn Seen & Heard Editor Emeritus Bill Kenny Editor in Chief
Vacant MusicWeb Webmaster
David Barker MusicWeb Founder Len Mullenger
from previous months Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the
discs reviewed. details We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to
which you refer.