Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Works by Alan Rawsthorne, Lennox Berkeley, John Joubert, Kenneth Leighton and Peter Melville Smith.

Helen and Harvey Davies
ASC records may be ordered directly from ASC Productions, 145a Chester Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8PT. 01625 423605

Rawsthorne's short suite for piano duet The Creel is comparatively familiar and has already been recorded on several occasions. Berkeley's Sonatina for Piano Duet (1954) is also fairly well known and is featured on the BMS's first CD - again a delightful short piece full of charm and spontaneity, it is superbly crafted as most Berkeley pieces are. Kenneth Leighton's Sonata for Piano Duet (1984/5) is also well known to members since it was recorded some years ago by the composer and was - and still is - available on a BMS cassette. This is a quite substantial piece of music that has still to receive its due. It is a really fine piece and a minor masterpiece by a distinguished composer who rarely wrote an indifferent note of music and whose stature has still to be fully appreciated. He wrote a good deal of music of which a large amount is virtually unheard, let alone recorded. Leighton is a significant composer and any new recording of his music is to be warmly and heartily welcomed. John Joubert's Divertimento is an early work written during Joubert's student time with the late Howard Ferguson at the RCM. It is a very enjoyable work full of tunes and energy that should definitely be better known. This highly rewarding and entertaining recital ends with yet another set of variations on a theme of Paganini (guess which?) by Peter Melville Smith whose name and music are new to me. This short piece is full of imagination and its theme and eight variations are dispatched in less than five minutes! It provides for a lively conclusion to this most enjoyable release.

The Davies Duo (mother and son) play with communicative enjoyment of the music and are very well served by a very fine recorded sound.

A pity though that the playing time is a bit of the short side and that Hoddinott's sonata written for the Davies Duo who premiered it in December 1999 could not have been included. Anyway this is a most enjoyable and welcome release which I heartily recommend. I hope that a forthcoming release might be devoted to music by Welsh composers, including this time Hoddinott's sonata.


Hubert Culot


Hubert Culot

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