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celebrating three hundred years of music by women


SOUND CLIPS, MP3 TRACK and CD SHOP

Please browse the CDs and sound clips below. The CDs range from £6 to £14, the clips are free, and here is a complete free track (mp3 format) from the Romantic Women Composers CD:

Romance for Oboe, Cello & Piano by Marie Grandval (1830-1907)

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third in the series:
GRAZYNA BACEWICZ: chamber music - Ambache Recordings AMB2607 (£11.99)
Bacewicz CD Cover
Quartet for Four Violins (1949)                    Mazovian Dance (1952)
Trio for Oboe, Violin & Cello (1934)               Theme & Variations (1934)
Quartet for Four Cellos (1964)                    Polish Dance (1948)
Trio for Oboe, Harp & Percussion (1965)         Slavonic Dance (1952)

Diana Ambache (piano)
David Juritz, Victoria Sayles, Richard Milone, Charlotte Scott (violins)
Ashok Klouda, Rebecca Knight, Sarah Suckling, Morwenna Del Mar (cellos)
Jeremy Polmear (oboe), Lucy Wakeford (harp), Tristan Fry (percussion)

"The playing is top notch, ... and Ambache unshakeable at the piano."
Kate Molleson, Guardian

"This is an easy disc to love. Every player is on inspired form. A perfect introduction
to an important 20th century composer."
Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

"Ambache and friends champion the genius of Polish composer Bacewicz:
the chamber music is an ideal place to start and this disc features an attractively wide range of works and styles."

John Allison, BBC Music Magazine

"Full marks to Diana Ambache and company for setting down eight pieces not otherwise available.
The performances all sound meticulously prepared, and nicely idiomatic too."

Guy Rickards, The Gramophone

Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-69) is Poland's most acclaimed woman composer of the 20th century. Her affection for folk music runs like a thread through her work and is here reflected in her violin and piano arrangements of traditional dances.

The other music here ranges from the neo-classical Trio of 1934 to the highly original Quartet for Four Cellos (1964). Her works have made an outstanding contribution to string music, as heard here in the Quartet for Four Violins (1949).

She once said of her compositions: 'A lot happens in my music; it's aggressive and at the same time lyrical.' With a strong streak of national pride, her mixture of honesty, melancholy and energy makes this music immediately captivating.


And here is a video of the recording sessions.


LIBERTÉ EGALITÉ, SORORITÉ - Ambache Recordings AMB2606 (£11.99)
BBC Record Review: "After the success of Seven Sisters, Ambache has continued with the French".
Liberté, Egalité, Sororité CD Cover
Claude Arrieu: Trio d'anches (1936)          Lili Boulanger: Nocturne (1911)
Mel Bonis: Scènes de la Forêt (1907)          Pauline Viardot-Garcia: Sonatine in A minor (1874)
Louise Farrenc: Cello Sonata in B flat (1861)          Germaine Tailleferre: Concertino (1952)

Diana Ambache, piano; Anthony Robb, flute
Jeremy Polmear, oboe; Neyire Ashworth, clarinet
Philip Gibbon, bassoon; Richard Dilley, horn
David Juritz & Richard Milone, violins; Ilona Bondar, viola;
Rebecca Knight, cello; Tim Amhurst, bass
Tristan Fry, timpani; Sue Rothstein, harp

Here is a video of the second movement of the Arrieu Trio;
and one of the last movement of the Tailleferre is here
Probably ironically, Pierre Boulez said of French music "French style is a cross between Descartes and haute couture".


"Much still needs to be done for those from earlier times who were faced with a dismissive established fraternity. This is a diverse sequence of thoroughly engaging works. The Bonis is a truly beguiling set of vignettes; Arrieu's Trio is energetic, witty and charming, by turns; the searching yet playful Viardot should have a firm place in the repertoire. Performances throughout are remarkably nuanced." Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine

"This collection of French chamber works includes an elegantly turned Sonatine by Viardot, the haunting Boulanger Nocturne, bucolic and sensuous Bonis, and the most impressive is the buoyant, astringent Concertino by Tailleferre. The Arrieu Trio could not be any more French if it were shrugging at you over a pastis." Erica Jeal, The Guardian

"A sweetly ethereal version of the Boulanger and an attractive performance of the Viardot." BBC Radio 3 Record Review

"Arrieu shows abundant wit; the Boulanger is a perfect jewel of melancholy contemplation; the gorgeous Bonis should become a repertoire staple; Farrenc shows mastery of large-scale form, and the subtleties of Tailleferre's Nocturne are as charming as anything written in France in the last one hundred years. All the first-rate London-based performers have turned out very fine work indeed." Sam Magill, Music-web International

"The whole disc is impeccably performed by the crack ensemble, and very well recorded - there's not a dud track here; it includes exquisite wind writing from Bonis; gorgeous Tailleferre; genial Farrenc, and invigorating Arrieu." Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk



SEVEN SISTERS - Ambache Recordings AMB6005 (£11.99)
Seven Sisters CD Cover
Cecilia McDowall: Le Temps Viendra (1998)          Jocelyn Pook: Wonderland (2007/14)
Sophia Dussek: Violin Sonata in D (1793)          Rosalind Ellicott: Aria (1891)
Sally Beamish: Songs & Blessings (1991)          Ethyl Smyth: Cello Sonata in a minor (1887)
Madeleine Dring: Trio for flute, oboe and piano (1968)

Diana Ambache, piano; Anthony Robb, flute
Jeremy Polmear, oboe; Neyire Ashworth, clarinet
Julie Andrews, bassoon; David Juritz, violin;
Louise Williams, viola; Rebecca Knight, cello

The YouTube channel Ambache Recordings has a short film
about each composer, including videos from the recording sessions.
"Pianist Diana Ambache and her expert team make this programme a pleasing experience... Madeleine Dring's Trio might sound like the best work that Poulenc never wrote, but it shapes its material elegantly, with abundant wit and charm." Gramophone

"The two 19th-century pieces are a charming work by Rosalind Ellicott, whose expressive lyricism recalls that of Franck; and Ethel Smyth's eventful Cello Sonata. Hers is a broodingly Brahms-like masterpiece that has already been recorded a number of times, yet this performance is most convincing of all in revealing the work's eloquence." Daniel Jaffé, BBC Music Magazine

"The liner-notes are excellent, with brief but illuminating biographies of the composers and a few succinct words about the works in question." John France, MusicWeb International

"The works span three centuries, and styles range from the spiky challenge of Cecilia McDowall, and haunting sounds from Jocelyn Pook and Sally Beamish, back through the chirpy charm of Madeleine Dring and to the melodic inventiveness offered by Ethel Smyth, Rosalind Ellicott and Sophia Dussek." Phillip Sommerich, Classical Music Magazine

"A great mix." Gillian Moore on CD Review, BBC Radio 3

MARION BAUER - Naxos 8.559253 (£6)
Bauer
A Lament on an African Theme, Op 20a
Concertino for Oboe, Clarinet and Strings, Op 32b
Trio Sonata No 1, for Flute, Cello and Piano, Op 40
Symphonic Suite for Strings, Op 33
Duo for Oboe and Clarinet
American Youth Concerto, Op 36

Diana Ambache, piano; Jeremy Polmear, oboe
Eli Eban, clarinet; Jonathan Snowdon, flute
Gabrielle Lester, violin; Ruth Ehrlich, violin
Jonathan Barritt, viola; Judith Herbert, cello

Lament (opening), Duo for Oboe and Clarinet (Dance), Symphonic Suite (Fugue), American Youth Concerto (Andante).

Marion Bauer (1882-1955) was the first in a distinguished line of American composers to study with Nadia Boulanger. She was also particularly influencial as a music critic, teacher and author of a seminal book on modern music Twentieth Century Music. The range of atmosphere in the music on this recording shows her versatility and interest in exploring a variety of styles. The Lament and Symphonic Suite are powerful in their expression of deep emotion. By contrast, the Duo and Trio are lighter in manner; and the Concerto is a celebration of Americana, including a Cakewalk, a Blues and a Hoe down in the Finale.

"All the performances sound both committed and played with genuine affection. The recording itself is crisp and detailed."
Mark Morris, Music web

"The music here is melodic, charming, concise, folksy, and very accessible; it is certainly expertly crafted and without pretence. The committed performances are lucidly and vividly recorded." Colin Anderson, Fanfare

AMY BEACH CHAMBER MUSIC 1 - Chandos Chan 9752 (£14)
Beach CD Cover
Piano Quintet in F sharp minor, Op 67
Theme and Variations for Flute and String Quartet, Op 80
Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, Op 150

Helen Keen, flute
Elizabeth Layton, violin
Ruth Ehrlich, violin
Martin Outram, viola
Naomi Butterworth, cello
Diana Ambache, piano

This CD has been awarded a Rosette in the Penguin Guide to CDs.

Piano Quintet (start) , Flute Quintet, Variation IV (complete) , Piano Trio (a bleeding chunk from the slow movt).

"The Chandos version from Diana Ambache and her group is even richer (than the Roscoe/Endellion recording), more passionately involving, amd the coupling with two other fine chamber works is more apt. These are marvellously performances of three highly rewarding works, superbly recorded." Rosette in Penguin Guide to CDs

"Amy Beach's Piano Quintet of 1908 is a fine piece by any standards, expertly written in a late Romantic idiom owing most to Brahms and Dvorak, and distinguished by some memorable melodic writing, especially in the deeply felt slow movement. The members of the Ambache...meet its demands with technical command and passionate fervour...a well-rounded portrait of a significant figure, which, with a clear recording in a warm church acoustic, makes enjoyable listening from beginning to end." Anthony Burton, BBC Music Magazine


AMY BEACH CHAMBER MUSIC 2 - Chandos Chan 10162 (£14)
Beach second CD Cover
Quartet for Strings, Op 89
Violin Sonata, Op 34
Pastorale, Op 151
Dreaming, Op 15 No 3

Gabrielle Lester, violin; Ruth Ehrlich, violin
Martin Outram, viola; Judith Herbert, cello
Diana Ambache, piano; Helen Keen, flute
Jeremy Polmear, oboe; Joan-Enric Lluna, clarinet
Timothy Brown, horn; Brian Sewell, bassoon

This CD has been awarded a Rosette in the Penguin Guide to CDs.
String Quartet (excerpt), Sonata (end of Finale), Pastorale (excerpt), Dreaming (excerpt).

This is the Ambache's second CD of Beach chamber music and it follows from the success of the first. Using three Innuit songs, the Quartet in One Movement reflects Beach's interest in ethnic music. One of the great Romantic works for violin and piano, the Sonata is written on a large canvas, in characteristically passionate mode; a sombre opening movement is followed by a scintillating Scherzo; the great tragic arc of the Largo is succeeded by a bravura Finale. The two, contrasting miniatures are charming: the Pastorale (for Wind Quintet) evokes the of peace in the New Hampshire Woods, and Dreaming (for cello and piano) is an exquisite song without words.

"Bravo to the Ambache for resuscitating these pieces; the String Quartet is particularly worth hearing in this sympathetic performance" Jessica Duchen, Classic fm Magazine

"The disc is thoroughly recommended for the group's perceptive and idiomatic approach to this delicate and enchanting music. ... a sparkling reading of the Violin Sonata, with beatifully measured lyrical lines. The dancing Scherzo is lithe and lovely, the Largo crafted with much sensitivity, and the bravura finale is rich with interest." Catherine Nelson, The Strad

LOUISE FARRENC CHAMBER MUSIC - AMB 6003 (£8)
This CD was originally issued in 1995, and is not available in the shops
Farrenc CD cover
Sextet for Piano and Wind in C minor, Op 40
Nonet for Strings and Wind in E flat, Op 38
Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano in E minor, Op 45


Diana Ambache, piano
Sophie Langdon, violin; Martin Outram, viola
Susan Dorey, cello (Nonet), Naomi Butterworth, cello (Trio)
Lynda Houghton, double bass
Helen Keen, flute; Jeremy Polmear, oboe
Joan Enric Lluna, clarinet; Mark Paine, horn
Brian Sewell, bassoon

Click here to hear the first minute of the Nonet Scherzo.

"A single year younger than Berlioz, who had some good words for her, Louise Farrenc lived through busy times in Paris... everything she writes in these three wind works is beautifully textured, with a range of colour and variety of timbre... She is an unfailingly inventive composer, and one of great wit and charm. These qualities are very much appreciated by the players here, who clearly enjoy the considerable challenges which she can set them... Farrenc is a very sympathetic composer, whose music can give great pleasure in a way that excites intelligent interest without making very serious demands... The recording is suitably lively and colourful." John Warrack, Gramophone
ROMANTIC WOMEN COMPOSERS - AMB6004 (£10)
This CD is not available in the shops
Clara Schumann
Clara Schumann (1819-96) Konzertsatz in F minor
Ambache Chamber Orchestra, Diana Ambache (piano)

Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-47) Piano Trio in D minor, Op 11
Sophie Langdon (violin), Susan Dorey (cello), Diana Ambache (piano)

Louise Farrenc (1804-75) Clarinet Trio in E flat, Op 44
Joan Enric Lluna (clarinet), Naomi Butterworth (cello), Diana Ambache (piano)

Marie Grandval (1830-1907), Romance and Gavotte
Jeremy Polmear (oboe), Naomi Butterworth (cello), Diana Ambache (piano)
Schumann (start) , Mendelssohn (start) , Grandval Romance (middle)

Originally issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Clara Schumann's death (May 1996) by the BBC Music Magazine, one woman in their office said "it's the best cover CD we've done". She seemed to be expressing her delight at discovering that classical music by women could be so accomplished, and so enjoyable. It is only available from us. The Konzersatz is still little played.
LOUISE TALMA - Naxos 8.559236 (£6)
Talma
The Ambient Air
Lament
7 Episodes
Variations on 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
Conversations for Flute & Piano
Soundshots for Piano
Full Circle for Chamber Orchestra

Diana Ambache, piano; Gabrielle Lester, violin
Martin Outram, viola; Judith Herbert, cello
Daniel Pailthorpe, flute; Jeremy Polmear, oboe
Paul Sperry, tenor; David Juritz, human metronome

Ambient Air (Driving Rain), Lament (excerpt), Soundshots (Skipping), Full Circle (excerpt).

Louise Talma (1906-96) was a multiple award winner and the foremost American Neo-classical composer. She wrote a substantial body of music in a wide range of genres. Talma's music shows a keen intellectual mind; she also engages the listener at a visceral level and she entertains them with her originality and quirkiness. She frequently combines motor energy (sometimes associated with Stravinsky) with a melancholy expression, and often creates moment of extraordinary beauty, such as in the 'lullaby' in 7 Episodes. Her music is quite unique, and includes a lightness of touch, perhaps from her time in Paris as a student of Nadia Boulanger. Her slow music is exceptionally expressive.

"This CD is a real discovery. All but one of the pieces was written by Talma in her 70's and 80's. The ensembles are intricate and carefully wrought. Talma writes especially beautifully for the flute. The soloists on this disc are all virtuosi. Not the slightest allowance has to be made for its budget price. The sound is beautiful too." David Saemann, Amazon.com

- and some recordings by non-women:

BEETHOVEN CHAMBER MUSIC - AMB 6002 (£8)
This CD was originally issued by Carlton Classics, now reissued by us, and is not available in the shops
Beethoven Chamber Music cover

Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op 16
Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op 11
Sonata for Horn and Piano, Op 17


Diana Ambache, piano; Jeremy Polmear, oboe
Joy Farrall, clarinet; Stephen Stirling, horn
Neil Levesley, bassoon; Naomi Butterworth, cello

Click here to download and hear the first minute of the Horn Sonata.


As far as we know this CD has not been reviewed, so we will have to blow our own trumpet, and Beethoven's. For here is some of his best chamber music outside the string quartets. The trumpet is not featured, but the horn most certainly is, in a Sonata of great nobility and beauty, with a recording to capture the warm sound of Stephen Stirling's horn [you can visit Stephen's own website by clicking here]. The horn features, too, in the slow movement of the Quintet - remarkable music, with piano alternating with the wind choir, and individual voices joining up in a continuous stream of melody. In the outer movements Beethoven is sunny, confident and full of invention, with beautiful writing for all the instruments. This is also true of the Trio, and the music has a strong opening and another beautiful slow movement. In the final set of variations (on an operatic theme) Beethoven dazzles us with inexhaustible creative inventiveness and - yes - sense of fun.
The recording was made in 1993 in the warm acoustic of St Michael's Church, Highgate, north London.

THE OTHER DONIZETTI - Meridian CDE 84147 (£10)
Instrumental music by Donizetti, together with Fantasies on his operas by Liszt and Pasculli
Donizetti CD Cover
(all works for oboe and piano unless otherwise stated)
Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
Sonata in F
Waltz in C (piano solo)
Concertino in G (cor anglais and piano)
Il Barcaiolo
Antonio Pasculli (1842-1924)
Concerto on themes from the opera La Favorita
Fantasia on the opera Poliuto
Franz Liszt (1811-86)
Reminisciences de Lucia di Lammermoor (piano solo)

Sonata 1st movement (middle) , Concertino (middle) , La Favorita (near start) , Liszt (middle) , Poliuto (middle)

The Other Donizetti refers to the instrumental side of a composer known mainly for his more than sixty operas, and the recording celebrates his unfailing melodic gifts. Antonio Pasculli was a celebrated oboist in his time, and his music allows plenty of opportunities for virtuosity. Both his and Franz Liszt's contributions always respect the beauty of the melodies.

"This collection shows an essentially lightweight side to the composer, but is given some substance by the stylish elegance of Jeremy Polmear's playing. The Sonata in F is an agreeable piece with a fluent Andante and a catchy finale, and the vignette Il Barcaiolo is even more engaging. The cor anglais Concertino centres on a set of variations which are not unlike the fantasias on themes from his operas by Pasculli. However, these demand the utmost bravura from the soloist. The La Favorita Concerto has a finale marked Allegro velocissimo which speaks for itself, and in the Poliuto Fantasia Jeremy Polmear is made to sound like one of Rimsky-Korsakov's bumble-bees set loose in the Italian sunshine. Diana Ambache proves a sympathetic partner and gives a suitably flamboyant account of Liszt's famous Lucia paraphrase. The artists are well balanced and are afforded striking naturalness and presence." The Penguin CD Guide

MOZART PIANO TRIOS - Signum SIGCD081 (£12)
Mozart

Piano Trio in C, K548
Piano Trio in E, K542
Piano Trio in G, K564
Triosatz in D, K442

Diana Ambache, piano;
Gabrielle Lester, violin;
Judith Herbert, cello

K548 (opening), K542 (Andante: excerpt), K564 (Allegretto), Triosatz, K442 (ending).

Issued in the Anniversary year 2006, Mozart's Piano Trios are a delightful addition to the Ambache recordings. The music dates from the late 1780s, and was written for sale to the enthusiastic amateur market in 18th century Vienna; they include his richness of melody and expressive harmony. Each Trio's character is coloured by his choice of key: celebratory C major, intimate E major, warm G major, and energetic D major.

"The star of the CD - if that's quite the right word for a chamber ensemble - is Diana Ambache. Her piano playing is exemplary, both technically and musically; her interpretations are soulful or delicate where appropriate."
Roderick Swanston, CD Review, BBC Radio 3

MOZART PIANO AND WIND QUINTET and PIANO QUARTET - Meridian ECD 84115 (£14)
Piano & Wind, Piano & Strings cover

Quintet for Piano and Wind, K452
Quartet for Piano and Strings, K478


Diana Ambache, piano; Jeremy Polmear, oboe
Antony Pay, clarinet; Timothy Brown, horn
Neil Levesley, bassoon; Adrian Levine, violin
Norbert Blume, viola; Andrew Shulman, cello

Click here to hear the first minute of the Piano Quartet.

"I recently wrote with enthusiasm about Antony Pay's playing of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet... the other players are mostly new to me but they all reach the same high quality. Diana Ambache's neat crisp style and polished technique help to make it easier than usual to accept Mozart's unlikely remark that this Quintet was the best work he had ever composed. Few of his slow introductions have the quality of this one, and what follows is equally delightful. The whole work must be as much of a joy to play as it is to hear... The backing is the Quartet in G minor for piano and strings. Here too the playing is polished, stylish and very pleasing... the record is easy to recommend." Roger Fiske, Gramophone


MOZART PIANO CONCERTOS 8 and 9, CONCERT RONDO K386 - AMB 6001 (£8)
This CD was originally issued by Pickwick, now reissued by us, and is not available in the shops
Mozart Piano Concertos 8 and 9 cover

Piano Concerto No 9 in E flat, K271
Piano Concerto No 8 in C, K246
Concert Rondo in A, K386

Diana Ambache, piano/director

Ambache Chamber Orchestra

Leader Adrian Levine

No 9, 2nd Movt (piano entry) , No 8, 1st Movt (piano entry)

It is a great pleasure for us to get this CD back in action; it had originally disappeared when Pickwick did. It contains two of Mozart's earliest Piano Concertos plus a bonus, and was recorded in the rich acoustic of Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London.

Piano Concerto No 9 is a remarkable work. The first movement has a symphonic sweep that carries you through in its rich complexity; the second movement is an apparently simple outpouring of emotion; and the third just bubbles with energy, with a gentle minuet sitting improbably inside it.

Number 8 is perhaps Mozart's most playful piano concerto. Joix de vivre is everywhere and there are many witty touches. As in Number 9, Mozart uses his small orchestra of strings, oboes and horns to telling effect. The 'bonus' is a single movement Rondo (only recently restored to its original version) that exudes an engaging warmth.
MOZART PIANO CONCERTOS 14 & 18 - Meridian ECD 84086 (£14)
Mozart 1st recording cover

Piano Concerto No 14 in E flat, K449
Piano Concerto No 18 in B flat, K456

Diana Ambache, piano/director

Ambache Chamber Orchestra

(leader Adrian Levine)


Click here to hear some of the slow movement of Concerto No 18 by C.

"All true Mozartians will be attracted by Diana Ambache's recording... a well-matched orchestral strength of 27 players; splendid tempi, of the most superbly-judged kind, revealing fully the grand symphonic sweep of these undoubted masterpieces; and orchestral playing that is quite exceptional in modern-day Mozart performances." Music and Musicians

RESPIGHI CHAMBER MUSIC - Chandos Chan 9962 (£14)
Respighi CD Cover
Piano Quintet in F minor (1902)
String Quartet in D minor (1909)
Six Pieces for violin and piano (1901-5)

Marcia Crayford, violin
Ruth Ehrlich, violin
Martin Outram, viola
Judith Herbert, cello
Diana Ambache, piano

This CD received a 5* rating for both performance and recording
in the BBC Music Magazine (March 2002)


These pieces all date from the first decade of the 20th Century, well before The Fountains of Rome, and already show Respighi's consummate technical skill combined with late Romantic intensity (as heard in the opening of the Piano Quintet).

The D minor string Quartet keeps up this intensity, and is a huge piece, lasting more than half an hour. The density of the string writing also means that finding rests in which to turn the pages is quite difficult, and extra music stands are required! Here is the opening of the Quartet's third movement.

The Six Pieces for Violin and Piano come as a refreshing antidote. They truly are little gems, with simple, affecting violin lines underpinned by piano writing that is much more subtle than it first appears. Here is the start of the Berceuse - the first piece.

"The Ambache, an eminent group of five on this disc, play it all superbly well, the crowning duo of Ambache and Crayford in the beautiful Six Pieces rounding off a highly enjoyable feast of unfamiliar music." Christopher Fifield, Music Web

"Wonderful playing from the Ambache. You can sense the players' enjoyment of Respighi's rich textures, and technically they are completely reliable. The recorded sound is first-rate. This one is a very definite winner, and I recommend it highly." Fanfare

SWEET MELANCHOLY - (£10)
Sweet Melancholy CD cover
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Six Studies in English Folk-Song (cor anglais & piano)
Benjamin Britten (1913-76)
Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op 49 (oboe solo)
Malcolm Arnold (b 1921)
Sonatina, Op 28
Edmund Rubbra (1901-86)
Sonata in C, Op 100
York Bowen (1884-1961)
Sonata, Op 85
Madeleine Dring (1923-77)
Danza Gaya
Vaughan Williams 6 Britten Arethusa (start) Arnold (start) Rubbra (start) Bowen (1st Movt complete) Dring (start)

"This is a recording not only for oboists; amateur or professional, people will have occasion to enjoy such finished performances in the repertory. Also, the artistry of Léon Goossens created an interest in the vein of music-making in English composition. Some of the pieces here were written for him (Malcolm Arnold, with his engaging, haunting Sonatina, and York Bowen); others were for performers inspired by his playing to take the instrument up. One such was Joy Boughton... for her Britten wrote his skillfully fashioned Metamorphoses, yet another tribute to his technical skill in its drawing of so much music out of a single unaccompanied line. Another was Evelyn Rothwell, later Lady Barbirolli... who won from Rubbra a sonata that is easily accepted for its lyrical qualities. These are some English versions of pastoral, as of course are Vaughan Williams' Six Studies (really for cello, here well suiting the cor anglais)...there is something to be learnt, and to be enjoyed, in music as well-crafted as this.

"Jeremy Polmear plays the works with the unaffected enjoyment of their virtues. He is a sympathetic, musicianly artist, with a sweet, Goossens-like tone (though - for oboists to note - he plays a Marigaux, richer-toned than Goossens' elegant Loree). He finishes with a charming little piece by the talented, lamented Madeleine Dring, who wrote it for her husband, another superb oboist, Roger Lord." John Warrack, Gramophone


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