The Piano Quartet reminded me a little of Cadman
(see Naxos collection) in its Gallic-Dvořákian
grace and strong lyric urge. There are other parallels: Vierne, Max
d'Ollonne and Fauré. This is music that is much stronger and more lucidly
laid out than the denser melos of Bowen experienced when hearing Dutton
CDLX 7115. The music also rang out a little like John Foulds'
Cello Sonata (1905). It receives here a really convincing performance
of great heft and dedication.
Of even stronger French sympathies the Piano Quintet
offers up a rainbow sheaf of hazed and sharply etched impressionistic
colours. Here the ‘indicators’ are Ravel (listen to the Allegro grazioso
and 7.50 of the finale), Bonnal and Guy-Ropartz. The time-signature
is in constant flux. While the quartet has a definite chiselled tune
the quintet is more suggestive and subtle. It has a masterly shimmer
of motifs and atmosphere and a Debussian undulation. The adagio and
the finale further identify this music as utterly remarkable; compare
it with Foulds' Quartetto Intimo (on Pearl). The work has an
assertively Korngoldian shimmer and misty romance.
Michael Dutton makes imaginative use of London Transport
Museum posters in his liner designs as was also the case with the lamented
Beulah label. Lewis Foreman contributes his, as usual, well informed
and illuminating commentary.
World-class playing from the London Piano Quartet (Nona
Liddell, violin; Elizabeth Turnbull, viola, David Kennedy, cello; Philip
Fowke, piano) and Ms Taylor makes this amongst the choicest Dutton Epoch
releases. Don't miss it.