Everything on this CD is receiving its first commercial recording. Armstrong Gibbs's most famous piece is the once very popular little orchestral movement called 'Dusk', which was recorded on our first 'British Light Music Classics' CD. Looking for suitable repertoire to introduce Guildhall Strings into the Hyperion catalogue we asked their programmer, Ben Buckton, to investigate Gibbs's other music. The composer's granddaughter, Anne Rust, told Ben that, for safekeeping, she had sent some scores many years ago to the Britten-Pears Music Library in Aldeburgh where they have remained untouched ever since. Ben's request for 'anything for strings' by Gibbs resulted in the production of a stack of dusty folders containing the handwritten manuscripts. The work on the top of the pile was the Threnody for Walter de la Mare, and it immediately became clear that the journey to Suffolk was going to lead to more than anyone had expected. This is attractive, well-written music in a lighter vein, dating from the first half of the century.
…Another major strong point of this recording is the sound; the German audiophile label MDG outdoes itself here in an old riding stadium that displays the music's serenade-like textures to beautiful effect. Chamber players should absolutely get to know this music. There is nothing in the individual lines that would challenge good student musicians, but they stand to learn a great deal about subtle balance and interaction by playing this music. And they'll give their audiences a pleasant surprise, too.
One of the best-kept secrets of twentieth century Russian music is the work of Polish-born Soviet composer Moisey (Mieczyslaw) Weinberg, often spelled as Vainberg. Weinberg was born in a Warsaw ghetto to a family of itinerant Jewish theatrical performers. He made his debut as pianist at the age of ten, and by age 12 was studying at the Warsaw Conservatory. With the outbreak of war in 1939, Weinberg fled to Minsk, enrolling in the conservatory and studying with Vasily Zolotaryov. In 1943 Weinberg sent the score of his first symphony to Dmitry Shostakovich, who was impressed and arranged for Weinberg to be invited to Moscow under official approval. This was the beginning of their long friendship and of Weinberg's career as a Soviet composer.
Weinberg was the only member of his immediate family to survive the Nazi Holocaust. His father-in-law was executed as ……..From Allmusic
Drawing on the Chopin model of alternating major and minor keys, as well as on Russian folk melodies, Kabalevsky’s 24 Preludes (1943–4) find the composer’s writing at its most distinctive. They are coupled with the early 4 Preludes (1927), in which the influence of Prokofiev is seldom far away, and the Preludes and Fugues (1958–9), six widely contrasting and expressive preludes yoked to their traditional fugal partners. This is the second recording of Kabalevsky’s piano music by Alexandre Dossin, First Prize and Special Prize winner at the 2003 Martha Argerich International Piano Competition. The three Piano Sonatas can be heard on Naxos.
Rheinhold Gliere was not your typical late 19th early 20th century composer, he was a neo-romanticist, and he shows that perfectly in the Bronze Horseman Suite and the Horn Concerto. The Philharmonia Orchestra in this recording of a piece not found on many recordings, gives an exciting reading throughout. The brass section particularly sounds robust and to the front of the ensemble.