Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 


 
REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline



Peter DICKINSON (b. 1934)
Lullaby from The Unicorns (1967/82/86) [3:24]
Mass of the Apocalypse (1984) [23:07]
Larkin’s Jazz (1989) [24:09]
Five Forgeries for piano duet (1963) [10:27]
Five Early Pieces for Piano (1955-1956) [10:59]
Air (1959) [2:46]
Metamorphosis (1955/57) [3:42]
Peter Dickinson (piano), John Flinders (piano: Forgeries, Early Pieces 2 & 4), Duke Dobing (flute: Lullaby, Air & Metamorphosis); Rev. Donald Reeve (narrator), Jo Maggs (soprano), Meriel Dickinson (mezzo), St James Singers, James Holland & David Johnson (percussion), John Alley (piano), Ivor Bolton (conductor) [Mass]; Henry Herford (baritone/speaker) The Nash Ensemble/Lionel Friend [Larkin’s Jazz]
rec. 18 April 2009, Potton Hall, Suffolk; 31 July 1988, University College School, Hampstead, London [Mass]; 5 February 1990, Keele University, Staffs [Larkin’s Jazz]. DDD
NAXOS 8.572287 [79:02]

 

Experience Classicsonline




Given the wide-ranging ambit of this disc, all of which pieces bar one are heard in premiere recordings (two are even world premiere performances) I allowed myself the luxury of getting down first to Larkin’s Jazz. This was written in 1989 and is heard in a first ever performance, live in the chapel at Keele University. There’s certainly a live, echo-laden atmosphere here, not always entirely comfortably so it must be said, because the recitalist Henry Herford can be rendered a bit indistinct, acoustically speaking. Percussion taps hammer naggingly and there is an elliptical instrumental accompaniment as he reads Larkin’s poems. Dickinson cleverly divides this project into threes; a Prelude, the reading of the poem, and finally a Commentary. There are four poems; Reasons for attendance, For Sidney Bechet, Love songs in age, and Reference back. In places it’s not an easy listen, but elsewhere Dickinson conjures up jazz echoes to commanding effect. There’s the surprisingly Goodman-sounding clarinet swing in the Prelude to For Sidney Bechet which then veers off into a more Buddy de Franco meets late Artie Shaw ethos – fretful off-beats and Krupa-esque drums. These are the genial, clever moments in which jazz is evoked but not straightforwardly. I wish Herford hadn’t got the stress wrong in the poem though. It’s not; ‘Oh play that thing’; it’s ‘Oh play that thing’. The thing in question being a cornet in Dippermouth Blues and this being the shouted cry of a thousand bandsmen down the years as the leader takes his time-honoured solo. I admire Herford as a singer and artist but I find his readings too ‘elevated’, if you know what I mean.
 
The Prelude to Love songs in age is the most harmonically complex, and the most extensive setting. Its commentary has an agitated cello solo and a melismatic vocal. The Prelude to Reference back adds a muted trumpet to the mix and in the Poem and Conclusion that follows we hear the strains of Riverside Blues emerge as if formulated from the preceding material. Dickinson also uses a strain from Bechet’s Blue Horizon in the piece, though less explicitly. The emergence of Riverside Blues is not unlike the emergence of Dowland’s tune in Britten’s Lachrymae but the effect is wholly different.
 
Mass of the Apocalypse again features some eclectic instrumentation; four part chorus, a soprano and mezzo-soprano soloists, speaker, two percussionists and piano. The texts are deliberately chosen, and derive from the King James (1611) version of the Bible for the spoken text, but the Alternative Service Book for the sung passages. It was commissioned for the 300th anniversary of St. James’s Piccadilly and premiered there in 1984. This recording was made in 1988. As with the Larkin piece there are determined percussive taps and there are also moments of staccato or even Nymanesque rhythmic patterns. The Agnus Dei sports strongly reharmonised Palestrina whilst the prominent marimba and wordless vocal of Ite Missa est adds another layer of colour.
 
Continuing the eclectic pathways that this disc offers we arrive at the Five Forgeries for piano duet. Dickinson describes these are ‘party-pieces’ and given that they emulate five composers with amusing precision he’s not far off the mark. The Poulenc forgery has a delicious tunefulness, whilst Hindemith is wickedly witty. The Stravinsky movement is adept, whilst the Delius is very much in the mould with those strong left hand chords to the fore. Bartók ends the sequence nicely. Five Early Pieces for solo piano were student examination works written between 1955 and 1956; in one case reconstructed by the composer many years later. They show hints of youthful neo-classicism in the second Invention, as well as a strong sense of the thoughtfully contemplative; markers of an early style in fact.
 
We also have the first recording in this flute and piano version of the Lullaby from The Unicorns – a lovely tune – as well as the Air for solo flute (1959) and Metamorphosis for solo flute. This last is impressive, with still, reflective lines alternating with loquacious interjections. The latter’s attempt to destabilise the serenity of the former is fruitless. Many years later, in 1971, Dickinson added a transformation sequence leading from the melody part to the tricky cadenza, which he took from his Translations written for David Munrow. It works well, and adds bite.
 
We certainly take a multi-faceted look at the many sides of Peter Dickinson in this disc, a rewarding and often challenging journey.
 
Jonathan Woolf

see also review by John France

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

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

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      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

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

Nostalgia

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

Comment
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

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
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
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
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
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

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






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.