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Track(s) taken from CDD22027

Four Characteristic Pieces


Dame Thea King (clarinet), Clifford Benson (piano)
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: 14 minutes 42 seconds


'This set should be on the shelf of every teacher and serious student of the clarinet' (American Record Guide)
One of Stanford’s brilliant pupils was William Yeates Hurlstone (born London, 1876; died London 1906). At the age of eighteen he had gained a scholarship at the Royal College of Music, and by the time he left four years later he already enjoyed a considerable reputation. He was then known mainly for his chamber music, though he also wrote for orchestra, chorus, solo piano and voice. His fresh and individual talent had, however, all too little time to reach full maturity, for he was dogged by ill-health and died at the tragically early age of thirty.

The Four Characteristic Pieces also exist in a version for viola and piano, as do the two Brahms Sonatas and the Ferguson pieces; yet there is no doubt that all of them sound better on the clarinet. The slow introduction to the Ballade is not unlike the opening ‘Once upon a time …’ of a story-teller, though the main part of the movement and the whole of the final Scherzo are both in normal sonata form. The Croon Song, as might be expected, is a lullaby; while the Intermezzo is similar in form, but not in content, to the typical Brahmsian Intermezzo in moderate tempo with a brisk middle section.

from notes by Howard Ferguson and Robert Matthew-Walker © 1997

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The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2
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