(Click underlined movements to hear MP3 format sound clips.)
JULIAN MILFORD (piano)
Benjamin Britten Temporal Variations (1936)
Theme - Oration - March - Exercises - Commination - Chorale - Waltz - Polka - Resolution
Gerald Finzi Interlude (1933-6)
Maurice Ravel arr. Daniel Pailthorpe Le Tombeau de Couperin (1914-17)
Prélude - Forlane - Menuet - Rigaudon
Henri Dutilleux Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1947)
Aria - Scherzo - Final
Eugène Goossens Concerto in one movement (1927)
Moderato - Andante - Allegro
Total CD Time: 69:13
The CD booklet contains a 2,000-word essay by Emily Pailthorpe on the music and the times in English, French and German. The photos include more of the performers, composers and the recording session.
The period between the two World Wars was one of violence, conflict, loss, nostalgia, yet great creative energy - qualities which are reflected in this collection of works for oboe and piano. These pieces conjure up a time in which loss was familiar, change seemed relentless, and yet a frenzy of exuberant artistic work was taking place. In her book 'Testament of Youth' (1933) Vera Brittain writes of the time: "Only gradually did I realize that the War had condemned me to live to the end of my days in a world without confidence and security, a world in which every dear personal relationship would be fearfully cherished under the shadow of apprehension."
The five composers represented in this disc were each directly affected by the extraordinary circumstances of the inter-war period, and their reactions were personal and diverse. Together, these pieces create not only a varied recital programme but also a window into this highly charged time. Living in the shadow of such desolation it is awe-inspiring and affirming that these men chose still to express themselves through the universal language of music. They speak clearly to us across the gulf of time in a way that is best expressed by these words of Dylan Thomas:
Though Lovers be lost, love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
copyright 2003 Emily Pailthorpe
American oboist Emily Pailthorpe first gained public attention in 1989 when she won First Prize in the Gillet International Oboe Competition. The youngest artist ever to win this prize, she was hailed by the judges as the "Jaqueline du Pré of the oboe". Emily went on to study English at Yale University where she graduated with distinction, and oboe at the Juilliard School of Music with Elaine Douves where she won both the Concerto Prize and the award for most outstanding orchestral musician. She subsequently appeared as Principal Oboist with many orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony and the Dallas Opera Orchestra.
Emily moved to England in 2000 to marry British flautist Daniel Pailthorpe. Since taking up permanent UK residence, she has been much in demand as a Principal Oboist, appearing with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish, the Hallé Orchestra and the English National Opera Orchestra among others. An active teacher, she leads education workshops for the Orchestra of St John's Smith Square and coaches the Britten-Pears Orchestra. Along with Daniel Pailthorpe and Julian Milford, she is a founder member of the acclaimed chamber ensemble CONCHORD, with whom she has recorded for the ASV and Black Box labels, and toured Europe and America. Emily is also a regularly featured artist on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and American National Public Radio.
Solo appearances have included the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Spoleto Festival, Italy, and a highly acclaimed performance of the Strauss Oboe Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
For details of CONCHORD, see www.conchord.co.uk
Julian Milford works as an accompanist and chamber musician with some of Britain's finest instrumentalists and singers, including many concerts with the distinguished violinist Lydia Mordkovitch with whom he has recorded discs of Bloch and Vaughan-Williams for Carlton Classics, and Elgar, Stravinsky and Carwithen for Chandos. He has also worked with the baritones Sir Thomas Allen and Christopher Maltman, and mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly.
An English literature graduate of Oxford University, Julian subsequently studied piano and piano accompaniment at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has performed extensively throughout Europe, and in South America, Russia, Africa and the United States, as well as in Britain's major chamber music venues including the Wigmore Hall, St. John's Smith Square, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room. Abroad, he has performed at venues including the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, the Vienna Musikverein and Washington's Kennedy Center. He has also visited Norway to play in the Bergen and Trondheim International Festivals, and has played in Finland in the Kuhmo Festival, and live on television in Helsinki. He is a regular visitor to the International Musicians' Seminar, Prussia Cove.
As well as his many recitals and broadcasts with Emily Pailthorpe and CONCHORD, Julian has made a solo recording for Chandos, comprising works by William Alwyn. He has broadcast for the BBC on numerous occasions, including live recitals from the Wigmore Hall and St John's, Smith Square.
Julian also practices as a barrister in London.
"I guess I'm a sucker for French music, and an even bigger sucker for English music. But that's not the only reason this CD has made me cry so many times already. Here is a musician: a perfect technique - let's dispose of that issue right now. A rich tone, but who cares? It's what she does with that tone - everything, every color, every dynamic, every variety of vibrato, everything in the service of a huge musical heart backed by a huge musical brain." Jeanne Belfy in 'The Double Reed', the journal of the International Double Reed Society
"This memorable recital... is beautifully recorded in Suffolk's Potton Hall... and performed with beguiling insight and affection."
Julian Haycock, International Record Review
"They offer the listener glittering performances that capture the drama and the changing moods of these works. One is compelled to listen."
Tess Miller, Double Reed News UK
"With a pungently characterised account of Britten's dazzling and nervy Temporal Variations (1936), this makes a very rewarding anthology." Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone
"The arrangement of Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin does work ... both players catch the blend of elegance and heartache in these pieces: the central Fourlane and Menuet are particularly poignant." Martin Cotton, BBC Music Magazine
"I am impressed with the quality of the production... the sound quality is excellent and the playing is second to none." John France, Classical Music Web