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Track(s) taken from CDA67316

Concertino for piano and string orchestra


Martin Roscoe (piano), Guildhall Strings, Robert Salter (conductor)
Recording details: July 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: March 2002
Total duration: 10 minutes 55 seconds


'Altogether this is a wholly delectable disc of spirited miniature concertos where the composers are never let down by paucity of invention. Performances are lighthearted and polished, and beautifully recorded. Most rewarding and entertaining' (Gramophone)

'Roscoe and the Guildhall Strings have put together an attractive collection here' (American Record Guide)

'Martin Roscoe's playing is sparklingly sympathetic, as are the accompaniments from the Guildhall Strings. This is music which you are seldom likely to encounter in the concert hall, but is ideally suited to revival on disc' (International Record Review)

'I have to be honest: of all recent CDs from our 'land without music', this has been spinning on my player the most' (The Times)

'Martin Roscoe and the Guildhall Strings approach these light-as-a-feather gems with sincerity and assurance. Their playing is impeccable and agile … those of you who have developed a taste for the ongoing light music series on Hyperion … will find this release a required purchase … this is a truly delightful, genial compilation of attractive and shamefully neglected English early-to-mid-20th-century light music for piano and string orchestra … I enjoyed this album immensely' (Fanfare, USA)

'Bravo to all' (International Piano)

'Martin Roscoe and his colleagues obviously enjoy themselves enormously, and their readings of these attractive works are beautifully recorded … this delightful release is a joy from first to last, and is unreservedly recommended' (MusicWeb International)

'Martin Roscoe … is the sparking soloist in this enchanting disc' (Yorkshire Post)
Jacob first wrote for piano and strings when in 1927 he produced a concerto which was played by the Australian composer and pianist Arthur Benjamin. Twenty-seven years later in the Concertino for piano and strings, Jacob finds a more hard-edged sound-world than his contemporaries, and despite the small scale of his movements creates a notably personal world.

The three-minute miniature first movement is derived almost entirely from the catchy one-bar falling motif we hear at the outset, which recurs again and again. This generates the lyrical slow theme which follows, briefly given telling emotion as a high violin solo. The music is given an almost Gallic elegance and wit by the constant chromatic changes and the dry insouciance of the presentation.

The following slow movement is notable for the chiselled lines of the piano writing, at first just a single line in either hand but given sudden warmth by the unexpected arpeggiated accompaniment. Towards the end the music increases in tempo as the piano has a miniature cadenza before the reflective close.

The finale rolls scherzo and finale into one with a skittish neo-classical movement in which the piano writing is notably clean, eschewing warm harmonies or classical piano figurations, but consisting of a rhythmic piano line in two parts, occasionally harmonised in fourths and octaves. This gives a dry and objective sound-world, brief and to the point, in which all is over and done in under three minutes.

from notes by Lewis Foreman © 2002

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