Alan Rawsthorne: A Portrait

Album cover art for upc 607128998716
Label: PRIMAFACIE
Catalog: PFCD053
Format: CD

Aspin, David; Harper, Sylvia; Turner, John; Howarth, Richard; Rea, Jake; English Northern Philharmonia; Cuckston, Alan; Manchester Sinfonia; Merrick, Linda; Child, Roger; Spooner, Joseph; Crowther, Jill; Robinson, Laura; Norris, David Owen

The recordings of three of the works on this album, the Quartet for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello, Studies on a Theme by Bach for String Trio, together with the Concerto for Oboe and String Quartet and the Studies were the first and only available recordings, and there is presently only one other available recording of the Oboe Concerto, it was considered that a re-release would be welcome and worthwhile. The original coupling was with two of Rawsthorne's choral works, but rather than repeat this it was decided to include new recordings of further chamber music and the Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra. In the case of the Clarinet Concerto this provided an opportunity to include the premiere recording of the published, original ending, but with the medium of the album it has also been possible to include the revised ending, so either version can be programmed and listened to. Though there are already recordings of the Sonata for Cello and piano available, it is such a fine and important work that a further interpretation is more than justified. The very attractive arrangement of Brother James's Air, also for cello and piano, is a premiere recording. "A Most Eloquent Music", from the incidental music Rawsthorne composed for the 1961 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet, has been included on an album released by the RSC, but the recording is introduced into this programme also - it is, after all, the year in which the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare's death is being commemorated.

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