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Music for Cello and Piano:
Matthew TAYLOR (b.1964)

Five Fantasy-Pieces Op. 30 (Composed between March and August, 2002):-
1. Allegretto innocemente [3:42]
2. Misterioso, sotto voce, sempre sostenuto [3:37]
3. Molto vivace [2:09]
4. Liberamente, tranquillo [4:36]
5. Vivo [1:41]
Anniversaries and Intermezzi (compiled in this grouping in 1999):-
1. Blumenstück (Flower-Piece) (1995) [3:30]
2. Allegro misterioso (1982, rev. 1999) [1:10]
3. Tango (1998) [1:19]
4. Intermezzo (1993) [3:01]
5. Alla Valse (1999) [2:37]
6. A Belated Birthday Prelude (1999) [3:21]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)

Fantasiestücke Op. 73;
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)

Three Pieces Op. 78.
Diane Porteous (cello); Matthew Taylor (piano)
Rec. 21 November 2002, St. Cyprian's Church, Glentworth Street, London, NW1 6AX

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The core of this release comprises the two works by Matthew Taylor. Born in 1964, he studied at Queens' College, Cambridge with, amongst others, Robin Holloway and later at the Royal Academy of Music with Edward Gregson, since when he has developed his skills as pianist, conductor and composer, not least in the field of musical education.

His compositions are becoming widely known and it is good to have this sample of his instrumental music, finely played by the composer with (in the Five Fantasy-Pieces) the distinguished cellist Diane Porteous.

These Fantasy-Pieces (2002), inspired, though in very general terms, by Schumann's Opus 73, also on the CD, are well contrasted movements ranging from the lyricism of the fourth to the moto perpetuo abandon (in which the pianist has little part) of the last. The first two, alternatively thoughtful and mysterious, both feature sustained cello writing with, apart from a few joyful peals in the first, restrained writing for the piano.

Anniversaries and Intermezzi, for solo piano, put together in 1999 and premièred in 2000, link three pieces (one indeed titled Intermezzo), written for birthdays of Jessica Duchen, Robin Holloway and Giles Easterbrook with three rather shorter movements, two of them dances - a Tango with some very attractive rhythms, and a decidedly restrained waltz, both quite serious within their brief range - the other, even briefer, re-cycled from an early cello concerto. The best is Intermezzo written for Robin Holloway; the Prelude for Giles Easterbrook has some striking dissonances.

The disc is rounded off by the little known Sibelius pieces Impromptu, Romance and Religioso, for cello and piano. Sibelius has long been one of Miss Porteous's enthusiasms and these are very welcome. I particularly enjoyed the almost salon-like yet glowingly lyrical Romance (it brings to mind the late Sir Thomas Beecham refuting the thesis that Sibelius's music was always "stark"). Religioso is scarcely less lyrical.

Recording and presentation - the booklet notes are by Mr. Taylor - are, as usual with Dunelm, excellent and I am happy to invite you to explore this fascinating disc.
Philip L. Scowcroft

Good to have this sample of Matthew Taylorís instrumental music, finely played Ö see Full Review

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