Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:

Music for cello and piano by British women composers
Rebecca CLARKE
(1886-1979), May MUKLE (1880-1963), Sheila Mary POWER (1903-1971`), Margaret HUBICKI (b.1915), Marie DARE (1902-1976), Amy Elsie HORROCKS (1867-1920), Imogen HOLST (1907-1984), Dora Estella BRIGHT (1863-1951), R Caroline BOSANQUET (b.1940), Janetta GOULD (b.1926).
Catherine Wilmers (cello)
Simon Marlow (piano)

This disc is deleted but can be obtained from the composer e-mail


ASV demonstrate acute artistic and commercial judgement. With no disrespect to the music or its two receptive and communicative interpreters this disc stood little chance of selling at full price. ASV whose eye for catchy design is well known moved the disc directly into their bargain range where it deserves to sell well. There is nothing at all amiss with the music but the combination of unknowns, the cello and chamber music would not otherwise command sales.

The CLARKE Passacaglia on an Old English Tune (1941) was written in the blackest days of the War - a sombrely meditative work of Bachian spirituality it rears up from profundity into passionate assertion in its closing pages. MUKLE, regarded as the pioneer among British women cellists, wrote two character sketches (1912: Hamadryad and Night Wind), both featured here. They are cut from the same Dvorakian jaunty romance as the Albert Sammons violin pieces recently recorded by Hyperion. POWER's Suite No. 1 (1938) is dedicated to Mukle (whose musical repertoire is celebrated in cellist Catherine Wilmers' recital programme), is modestly mellifluous, rounded, restful and, in the finale, playful. HUBICKI's Two Contrasting Pieces (1935) are Lonely Mere and Rigaudon. The first is typical of the pleasantly poetic-illustrative vein running through much British music of the 20th century enlivened by a by-no-means submissive piano part.

DARE's Hebridean Suite (1947): is a six movement piece which, along the way, takes in mood portraits of a Summer Sea. HORROCKS is represented by Twilight (1901), the rollingly soulful Irish Melody and a jumpy 'Dumka' of a Country Dance (1894). Imogen HOLST, long the grande dame standing guard over her father's legacy contributes an Arrangement of Two Scottish Airs (1933). BRIGHT's contemporaneous Polka à la Strauss (1934) is cheerful contrasting with the comparative austerity of BOSANQUET's Elegie in Memoriam Joan Dickson (1994) and GOULD's Sontag 2

The autumnal surrealism of the CD cover and the essential notes complete the picture.

I hope we will hear more from Wilmers, perhaps in more substantial repertoire.

Rob Barnett

See also review by Colin Scott-Sutherland

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