Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDH55085
Recording details: September 1993
St Peter's Church, Petersham, United Kingdom
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: April 1994
Total duration: 3 minutes 43 seconds

'Paul Coletti proves an eloquent advocate for music which is little known but offers rewards in abundance … a most stimulating programme which is performed with distinction by both artists' (BBC Music Magazine Top 1000 CDs Guide)

'Exemplary performances one and all: a most distinguished recorded debut' (Gramophone)

'this anthology of 20th-century music for viola and piano was a deserved inclusion in the BBC Music Magazine's 'Top 1000' CD guide. The Scottish-born Paul Coletti is a master of his instrument, and deploys an impressive range of colours. Well partnered by the versatile Leslie Howard, he gives full Romantic expression to Rebecca Clarke's fine 1919 Sonata and Bax's dramtic Legend. And he is a convincing advocate for posthumously published rarities by Britten and Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge's beautifully written diptych, two delightful Grainger miniatures, and two beautiful lullabies by Clarke which alone are worth Helios's modest price' (BBC Music Magazine)

‘Coletti’s cello-like tone and Leslie Howard’s sensitive accompaniment highlight the big romantic gestures of the Clarke sonata and also project the fervent nature of works such as Bax’s Legend and Frank Bridge’s irresistible Allegro appassionato’ (Classic FM Magazine)

'A voyage of discovery for both the auditors and the players… a worthy and repertoire-expanding release on all counts' (Fanfare, USA)

'Superb advocacy for some scandalously neglected music… this disc deserves to win both musicians and composers many new friends' (CDReview)

The Sussex mummer's Christmas carol
composer
arranger
Traditional

Other recordings available for download
Mats Lidström (cello)
Introduction
Percy Grainger’s fascinatingly original and attractive music has become well known in recent years and has been championed by many distinguished musicians, not least by Benjamin Britten who made a recording of a fascinating selection of works which betrayed a lively enthusiasm on the part of the younger composer. Although Grainger is regarded loosely as a ‘British’ composer, he was actually Australian by birth, came to Europe in his teens, and finally settled in America in 1914 (when he was 32). The ‘Englishness’ with which he is associated has much more to do with the fact that he was an indefatigable collector and arranger of folksongs, many of which were from the British Isles.

The Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol is one such arrangement, originally made for violin or cello and piano but personally sanctioned in this version by Grainger. And how well it sits in the violist’s hands! Grainger’s extraordinary ear for perfect sonorities, his seemingly unerring sense of the rightness of the placing of notes in a chord, serves him particularly well in this carol. Two of his great musical heros were Frederick Delius and Edvard Grieg. On this occasion it is Grieg who receives the posthumous dedication: ‘Lovingly and reverently dedicated to the memory of Edvard Grieg’. Grainger was meticulous in recording on his scores all the details of composition, so we learn that this setting was begun in 1905 and completed ten years later. The tune was taken down by Miss Lucy Broadwood at Lyne, near Horsham, Sussex, in 1880 and ’81 from the singing of Christmas mummers called ‘tipteers’ or ‘tipteerers’ during their play of ‘St George, the Turk, and the Seven Champions of Christendom’. The first verse goes as follows:

O mortal man, remember well
When Christ our Lord was born;
He was crucified betwixt two thieves
And crowned with the thorn.

Other verses are on the ‘God bless the master of this house’ theme. Grainger’s dark, Bourneville-chocolate harmonies are perfectly matched with the colour of the viola in this lovely setting.

from notes by Paul Spicer 1994


Other albums featuring this work
'Smörgasbord' (CDA67184)
Smörgasbord

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch