Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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The Quintet is a case in point. In one sense the musical language is ‘difficult’ in that it is highly dissonant, if not particularly complex; yet it is also ‘easy’ since, like Berg’s (with which it has some affinities), it communicates; it delivers its message to a public which does not, perhaps, have to understand every last note or chord. We do not, after all, look for precise meanings in a poet like Gerard Manley Hopkins, yet he rarely leaves us in doubt as to what he wishes to convey. No one, I imagine, whatever their level of musical sophistication, could be left unmoved by the finale of the Quintet, surely one of the sublimest elegiac utterances in English music of any period. For Thurston to have inspired this piece after his death is as great a tribute to his artistry as any of the music he caused to be created in his lifetime.
from notes by Christopher Palmer © 1991