RAWSTHORNE and other rarities
Rawsthorne: Chamber Cantata, Practical Cats, String Quaret in B minor, Basil Dean: The Rose Tree, Janvicky: The Little Linden Pipe, Bliss: The Buckle, Waxman Serenade and Caprice, Vaughan Williams: The Willow Whistle
Clare Wilkinson (mezzo), Mark Rowlinson (reciter), John Turner (recorder/bamboo pipe), Harvey Davies (harpischord), Peter Lawson (piano)
Solem String Quartet
Divine Art DDA 25169 @ £14.25 plus P&P
Music Web International “All in all, this is an extraordinary disc. Not only does it do what it says on the tin and introduce the listener to some rarities by a variety of better-and-lesser-known composers, it gives Rawsthorne enthusiasts two previously unrecorded works, the Chamber Cantata and the String Quartet in B minor and includes an incarnation of the whimsical Practical Cats which deserves all success. Finally, the entire CD is dedicated to the memory of John McCabe (1939-2015). It is a most worthy tribute.”
Musical Opinion “It is an absolute gem, and very strongly sung here by Claire Wilkinson, well supported by the Solem Quartet and harpsichordist Harvey Davies.”
About the recording ….. In one sense this is a sequel to ‘A Garland for John McCabe’ (DDA 25166). Originally intended as the second disc in that set, the project grew to be a full album in its own right, and is also dedicated to McCabe with first recordings of works by McCabe’s fellow composers. Just as importantly it is a feast of fine music by British and American composers, all (except one very short track) recorded for the first time, including principally music by Alan Rawsthorne –the early and jolly String Quartet in B minor, the Chamber Cantata, and the piano version of the remarkable ‘Practical Cats’. Clare Wilkinson is receiving rave reviews for her work and is a mezzo with beautiful tone; veteran baritone Mark Rowlinson is the fine reciter of ‘Cats’. John Turner, one of the leading recorder players of today and former member of many world-renowned early-music ensembles, and pianist Peter Lawson, another highly regarded performer who has played with most top British orchestras and has a long and distinguished recording and teaching career, are joined by keyboard maestro Harvey Davies and the very fine Solem Quartet.