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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22027
Recording details: February 1989
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Produced by Alun Francis
Engineered by Bob Auger & Stuart Smith
Release date: January 1989
Total duration: 19 minutes 53 seconds

'Music, its performance, and its recording, of the highest class' (Gramophone)

'This set should be on the shelf of every teacher and serious student of the clarinet' (American Record Guide)

'The recording is outstandingly truthful. A splendid record' (The Monthly Guide to Recorded Music)

'I don't think I have ever heard a more convincing recorded account of the instrument so superbly played here by Thea King' (Hi-Fi for Pleasure)

Sonata for clarinet and piano, Op 129
28 December 1911

Allegro moderato  [7'49]

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (born Dublin, 1852; died London, 1924) was not only a prolific composer of every type of music, including opera, but also an immensely influential teacher of composition. Famed for his blisteringly caustic tongue, he must often have seemed to his pupils somewhat less than encouraging; yet he launched from the Royal College of Music an astonishing number of outstanding composers, among whom were Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bridge, Ireland, Howells and Hurlstone.

Stanford wrote only two works for clarinet; the present Sonata, completed on 28 December 1911, and the slightly earlier Concerto. In both, his admiration for Brahms is evident, but the slow movement of the Sonata proves how potent, too, was the influence of the music of his own country (a ‘Caoine’, pronounced ‘keen’, is a type of Irish lament). Throughout the work Stanford’s great technical skill is shown by the beauty and transparency of the textures, and by the cunning way in which the thematic interest is so evenly divided between the two instruments.

from notes by Howard Ferguson and Robert Matthew-Walker 1997

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