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Track(s) taken from CDA67853

Rhapsody No 4

1958; subtitled Bene psallite in vociferatione; for John Birch

Simon Bell (organ)
Recording details: March 2010
Winchester Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 6 minutes 52 seconds

Cover artwork: Golden Days by Lee Campbell (b1951)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'The performances of Winchester Cathedral Choir are so good you hardly register the need to 'assess' them—exactly as it should be in devotional music. That's a huge tribute to the state of the singing at the cathedral, and to Andrew Lumsden, who directs it. A marvellous CD, beautifully planned and executed' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Howells's later works have failed to find their way into the regular repertoire but this recording by a radiant Winchester Cathedral Choir urges a thorough reappraisal. The long, fluid lines, startling cadences and massive chords which are so unique to Howells are all here in 'their' service' (The Observer)

'These are uniformly excellent performances and the recording quality is detailed yet superbly spacious. It's the first release from a renewed relationship between Winchester and Hyperion and, although I will hope for more rare Howells, I look forward to whatever else is on the cards. I highly commend this disc' (International Record Review)
Howells composed four Rhapsodies for organ. The first three were all written during the First World War between 1915 and 1917, and published together as Op 17. Howells did not return to the form until 1958 for Rhapsody No 4. In the meantime his music for organ had included the monumental Sonata of 1932 and the Six Pieces of 1939–45. Although the title ‘Rhapsody’ suggests free form, all four of Howells’ examples are cast in the same extended ternary structure with a contrasting reflective middle section, framed by dramatic openings and endings. The difference in Rhapsody No 4 is that all the music is tense and nervous, much more extrovert than hitherto and full of short bursts of energy.

from notes by Paul Andrews © 2011

Howells composa quatre rhapsodies pour orgue. Les trois premières, écrites durant la Première Guerre mondiale (entre 1915 et 1917), furent publiées ensemble sous le numéro d’opus 17, Howells n’ayant renoué avec cette forme qu’en 1958, pour la Rhapsody no 4. Entre-temps, il avait dédié à l’orgue sa monumentale Sonate (1932) et ses Six Pieces (1939–1945). Malgré la forme libre suggérée par le titre «Rhapsody», ces quatre pièces sont coulées dans une même structure ternaire prolongée, avec une section centrale contrastive et réfléchie, flanquée d’une ouverture et d’une conclusion dramatiques. La Rhapsodie no 4 a ceci de différent qu’elle est toute tendue, nerveuse, bien plus extravertie que les précédentes et gorgée de brusques accès d’énergie.

extrait des notes rédigées par Paul Andrews © 2011
Français: Hypérion

Howells komponierte vier Rhapsodien für Orgel. Die ersten drei entstanden während des Ersten Weltkriegs zwischen 1915 und 1917 und wurden zusammen als Opus 17 herausgegeben. Howells kehrte erst 1958 mit seiner Rhapsody Nr. 4 zu dem Genre zurück. In der Zwischenzeit hatte er für Orgel etwa seine monumentale Sonate (1932) und die Sechs Stücke (1939–45) komponiert. Obwohl der Titel „Rhapsodie“ eine freie Form andeutet, sind alle vier Werke von Howells in derselben dreiteiligen Struktur mit dramatischen Anfangs- und Schlussteilen und kontrastierenden Mittelteilen angelegt. Die vierte Rhapsodie unterscheidet sich dadurch, dass die Musik insgesamt angespannt, nervös und deutlich extravertierter als zuvor ist und es erklingen mehrere kurze Energieausbrüche.

aus dem Begleittext von Paul Andrews © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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