The four works here
are old favourites from a cobwebbed
corner of the Lyrita catalogue. All
appeared on LP SRCS52. The unifying
theme - if you really must have one
- is that all three are Welsh composers
by birth and or blood. The chamber works
included are from the 1960s.
Wynne held various
teaching posts in Wales. His music made
an impact when his String Quartet No.
1 came out in 1945. He was championed
by Michael Tippett. His influences include
Schoenberg and Bartók. The worklist
is substantial and includes four symphonies
(1952, 1955, 1963, 1983), the fourth
being incomplete. There are also five
string quartets and various sonatas
including five piano sonatas.
Wynne's Second Piano
Sonata is in three movements. It
is dedicated to and was premiered by
Eiluned Davies - who recorded the piano
music of Bernard van Dieren for the
British Music Society - only ever issued
on cassette. The composer's description
of the music is right on the money –
"basically modal with atonal overtones".
Parts of it are quite velvety but the
finale has a jazzy Bartókian
muscular ebullience. Wynne's Third
Quartet is in one atonal movement.
It is tough going - more obdurate than
The music of Ian Parrott
will reveal itself in years to come
as that of an imaginative master. His
compact Fourth Quartet is in
five little movements. They are here
distinctly tracked which makes study
that much easier. The most instantly
memorable movement is the impulsive
torrent of the Allegro con fuoco.
The other movements are hauntingly done
in an idiom tiptoeing along the DMZ between
tonality and atonality. It is the most
approachable of the works here. The
light-handed seriousness of the final
catchy and skipping epilogue sounds
a little like Rózsa and a little
like Tippett. The work ends with resonance
Parrott who studied
privately with Benjamin Dale has written
five symphonies (1946, 1960, 1966, 1978,
1979) and concertos for violin (1945),
piano (1945), cor anglais (1956) and
cello (1961) not to mention ones for
trombone and wind band (1967) and a
concertino for two guitars and chamber
orchestra (1973). Amid a tightly thronged
catalogue there are also five string
quartets: 1946, 1956, 1957, 1963, 1994.
He also has books to his credit on Elgar,
Warlock and Cyril Scott.
The parents of Portsmouth-born
David Harries were Welsh. He made his
home in Wales. There are two string
quartets, a symphony, a piano concerto,
a clarinet quintet and two piano sonatas.
This succinct three movement Piano
Quintet is said to share its world
with the Violin Concerto written in
the same year. The music is fundamentally
tonal but with a 12 note spin. The music
moves between syncopated angularity
and velveteen disconsolate musing -
try the central Lento.
Paul Conway does the
honours with a lucid and detailed liner-note.
As usual the only hard information in
this review is shamelessly drawn from
Mr Conway's writings.
but not unappetising collection of Welsh
music from the 1960s.
Frank Bridge String Quartets Nos. 3
John Ireland Chamber Music