Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

Miriam HYDE (b.1913)
Piano Concerto No. 1 (1933)
Piano Concerto No. 2 (1935)
Village Fair (1943) *
Miriam Hyde (piano)
West Australian SO/Geoffrey Simon
Sydney SO/Dobbs Franks*
rec May 1975, May 1979
ABC Classics ELOQUENCE 465 735-2 [66.52]

The notes with this beguilingly priced disc are scant on detail about Hyde. So let us chart the facts first of all:-

Miriam Beatrice HYDE. B. Adelaide, Australia. LRAM, ARCM. Studied RCM. Married Marcus Bruce Edwards. One son; one daughter. Held various academic posts. Wrote two piano concertos. These were played under Lambert, Heinze, Heward, Sargent, Schneevoigt, Bainton and Post. There is also a Fantasy-Romantic for piano and orchestra (fellow Australia Frank Hutchens wrote a Phantasy Concerto for piano and orchestra and both Eugene Goossens' concertos - violin and piano - are dubbed Phantasy Concerto). Heroic Elegy. Adelaide Overture. Symphonic Overture. Happy Occasion Overture. Many chamber and solo piano works and songs. Her solo Lullaby for Christine (her daughter) was recorded by Walter Gieseking. Her non-musical pursuits include gardening, scrabble and writing.

The two piano concertos are products of her London years, both being performed by leading orchestras and conductors at the time. That they must then have rung somewhat anachronistically (though George Lloyd's early orchestral music and operas were making a splash at the time) hardly matters now. Suffice to say that the style is late romantic and by no means as vapid as some display concertos we hear e.g. the Rubinsteins. The First Concerto is the more Schumann like of the two with splashes of Tchaikovsky - the second concerto rather than the famous one. The Second rings familiar bells with its filial sympathy with the Rachmaninov First piano concerto. I wonder if Hyde also knew the Stanford Second Piano Concerto (an extremely strong work) because this one betrays the same influences of Rachmaninov and Brahms. We know that Hyde loved the Brahms piano music. In an age where Hyperion, Vox and Genesis have responded to the demands for acres of romantic piano concertos this CD must not be neglected. The invention is sound rather than gripping but I would certainly rate these works as more memorable than two other piano concertos I have been listening to recently (the Macdowells).

These recordings were originally issued in 1995 as ABC Classics 446 285-2 1995.

Rob Barnett


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