One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,196 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements


Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

 

Recordings of the Month

October


Aho Symphony 5


Dowland - A Fancy


MÄNTYJÄRVI - Choral


Rachmaninov_ Babayan

September


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


TAKEMITSU MESSIAEN


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Schubert Symphony 9

August


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE


Enescu Ravel Britten


Debussy Images etc.


53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)

 

 

 

 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
 

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941)
Phantasy Piano Quartet in F sharp minor (1911) [12.08]
Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983)
Piano Quartet in A minor, op.2 (1916-1917)  [26:12]
William ALWYN (1905-1985)
Rhapsody for Piano Quartet (1938) [8.44]
Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970)
Quartet Op. 16 (1899)  [19:29]
Primrose Piano Quartet (Susanne Stanzeleit (violin), Susie Meszdros (viola), Bernard Gregor-Smith (cello), John Thwaites (piano))
rec. September 2005, St Edward the Confessor’s, Mottingham, London SE9.
MERIDIAN CDE84547 [66:33] 

The Primrose Piano Quartet are to be most highly commended for their outstanding work in bringing the neglected works of less familiar English composers to light. That’s particularly the case with this their latest release from Meridian.

The disc opens with Frank Bridge's Phantasy Quartet, written for W. W. Cobbett's famous competition. Competitors were invited to submit a work in one movement, recalling the "Phantasies" of sixteenth and seventeenth century English chamber music; Bridge's Piano Trio had won the Prize three years earlier. Composed in 1910, this Phantasy Quartet presents passionately lyrical sections interposed with playful, light scherzos and a gorgeously tranquil ending that the Primrose Piano Quartet captures perfectly.
 
Herbert Howells' Piano Quartet was dedicated "To the hill at Chosen and Ivor Gurney who knows it". Chosen Hill in Gloucestershire (Howells' home county) was a favourite place of Howells and his friend Gurney, another English composer who produced works of tremendous poignancy and beauty. The work is superbly performed, with its opening movement, Allegro moderato, full of restless, searching energy and a wonderfully rich, romantic slow movement.
 
William Alwyn’s Rhapsody for Piano Quartet, with its wonderful chromaticism, is another single-movement work of typically Alwynian rhythmic drive. Although written much later than the other works on this disc, in 1938, it nonetheless inhabits a similar sound-world. It shares with them an intensity and luminosity peculiar to English music of the early twentieth century period.
 
The disc concludes with Cyril Scott’s Quartet. Scott was one of "Frankfurt Group" of British (and one Australian) composers who studied composition together in Frankfurt. The others were Grainger, Quilter - that craftsman of the most exquisite songs - Norman O'Neill and Balfour Gardiner, the great musical patron. Scott composed his Piano Quartet when he was 21. Although he is now rather forgotten, by then his first symphony (which he later withdrew) had received its premiere in Germany. His second symphony was soon to be conducted by Sir Henry Wood. The quartet received its premiere in London in 1903 with Scott himself playing the piano part. Scott persuaded Kreisler to be the violinist, thus bringing the composer to the public's notice in a way in which, as Scott himself said, "short of murder, nothing else could have done". This work is confidently written and deeply-felt. It contains storms of impassioned outbursts in its romantic Allegro maestoso con spirito and Andante molto espressivo movements.
 
This is a disc that merits high praise. It is well presented, with scholarly notes from Francis Pott. The accomplished Primrose Piano Quartet - which includes highly- acclaimed chamber musicians - plays together with an ease and kinship that belies the difficulty of the music. The musicians' polished rapport and musical understanding and communication is excellent. They capture the questing nature of the pieces and their glorious shades of light and dark brilliantly. Radiant performances of wonderful music.
 
Em Marshall 

Previous review: John France