MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Buy through MusicWeb
for £13.50 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button


Michael GARRETT (b.1944)
Piano Works
Aux pas I – 12 Preludes Op.15, ‘From The Highlands’ Nos. 1, 2 and 11 (1981-82) [11:33]
Aux pas II – 12 Preludes Op.21, Nos, 1-5, 7, 10 and 13 (1983) [22:51]
Aux pas IV – 24 Preludes Op.118, Nos. 1-4 and 10 (1997) [6:41]
Two Preludes in Triple Measure Op.187 (2007) [2:03]
The Book of Circe Op.10 – excerpts (1968-76) [22:06]
Barbara Karaskiewicz (piano)
rec. August 2009, Studio S1, Warsaw

Experience Classicsonline

The singular Michael Garrett ploughs his own furrow. He was born in Leicestershire in 1944. By 1961 he had begun to study with Rubbra, later still studying composition with Alfred Nieman. He also had Frank Merrick as a teacher; Merrick being an esteemed pupil of Leschetitzky who left behind a fascinating corpus of recordings from Field to Bax and all manner of interesting stops in-between - and indeed beyond. Displaying considerable variety Garrett also managed to record an LP in Paris in 1969 with that most eloquent and lyrical of Jazz trumpeters, Bill Coleman; it’s still available, on Jazzology. Later still he was music director of the Lindsay Kemp Mime Company and wrote film music, prominently for Ken Russell’s Women in Love. He now works full time on composition. If his portrait photograph is representative he’s also something of a natty dresser.
He has a considerable number of works to his name but this disc concentrates exclusively on those for piano, and on the purely tonal side of things. Aux pas I dates from the very early 1980s and is cast in folk-like guise, albeit the melodies are Garrett’s own. There’s a fusing of Scotch-snap and Jazz in the first, whilst the second is jam-packed with incident and at one point chinoiserie seems to infiltrate the sound-world. We get three of the cycle of twelve; the eleventh is effusively romantic, with pretty tunes and a sense of breathless rapidity.
Garrett likes the Prelude. There are twelve in the second set of Aux pas, and we hear considerably more - though not all - of this set. Of especial note are the puckish wit of the first, the exuberant snap of the third, and the jubilant dance that is the fifth. There’s plenty of right hand filigree in the thirteenth which is programmed ahead of the tenth. In all we get eight of the twelve.
The third set was composed much later, in 1997. There are twenty-four and five are programmed here. Some interesting harmonies spice the first in D minor, whilst the second has clearly absorbed the freedoms that jazz offers amidst the sense of wistful songfulness. The stomping left hand in the B major [No.4] doesn’t sound Boogie-esque but is maybe a reminder of the carousing, wandering rhythmic kick that jazz players employ.
The Two Preludes are very brief; the second is delightfully frisky. They’re the most recent works in the set, dating from 2007. The Book of Circe was written between 1968 and 1976 and consists of 100 pieces in 10 books. This is a multi-stylistic work and we hear, extracted from it, a suite ‘In the Old Style’ and some other smaller, similarly evocative pieces. These are really lively, delightful miniatures, and they evoke baroque procedure wittily. Maybe there are some hints of Poulenc. We end with the Valse de salon, which he wrote for Women in Love in 1968, rich in parlour and show-song hues.
The intrepid Barbara Karaskiewicz plays these works with technical assurance, rhythmic vivacity and command. She differentiates and characterises finely. She’s even added ornaments - with the composer’s agreement, doubtless - in some of the Circe movements.
This is the first CD devoted to Garrett. His piano music here is tonal, lyric, vital and wistful, drawing from baroque dance patterns, the natural world, the energising kick of jazz, and the precision and clarity of French models. It can also teem with incident – sometimes even a little too much - and offers a welcome breath of sincere, dogma-free generosity of spirit.
Jonathan Woolf

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.