Roger QUILTER (1877 - 1953)
The Complete Piano Music
Three Studies Op.4 (1901-1909) [6:13]
Three Pieces Op.16 (1909-1915) [11:46]
Two Impressions Op.19 (1914/1919) [7:14]
Four Country Pieces Op.27 (1923) [8:21]
Suite: Where the Rainbow Ends (1911) [13:26]
David Owen Norris (piano)
rec. The Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton University, Southampton, England, 14-15 February and 31 August 2004
EM RECORDS EMR CD002 [47:00]
How well I remember my first acquaintance with the music of Roger Quilter.
When I was a small boy in the early 1940s it was an eagerly anticipated routine to attend Christmas parties, with a number other children, at the house of one of my cousins. The parties were organised by two young ladies – aunts of my cousin. After tea, as darkness gathered all we children drew together to sit cross-legged before the fire and as the fire turned blue, we sat and listened to one of the aunts telling us stories. Then from behind us came the sound of the piano being played softly by the other aunt. I broke away from the circle and went to the piano to listen entranced to the music. It was, as she told me - and I never forgot - the ‘Rosamund’ music from Where the Rainbow Ends. I stood beside her in awe and completely captivated.
A Suite of Quilter’s music from Where the Rainbow Ends, concludes this album’s programme.
I have deliberately refrained from sending in a review of this until now because I anticipated that I would want to include it in my choice of six recordings for 2012 and I was keen to ensure that my review would be published in the New Year so that it would so qualify.
Fellow MusicWeb reviewers, John France, Nick Barnard and Rob Barnett have already contributed reviews of this fine disc and they have included comments about Quilter, the too few recordings of his music and the sensitive playing of David Owen Norris in this context - an opinion I would fully endorse. I will not tire the reader with tedious repetition but confine myself to this very personal opinion: Owen Norris’s notable performance brings back cherished memories of Quilter’s exquisitely fragile, magical music so wonderfully redolent of a gone-by ‘innocent era - a comfortable, safe, golden age of fantasy and childhood dreams’.
Brings back cherished memories of Quilter’s exquisitely fragile and magical music.