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Herbert Howells: Fantasy String Quartet / Rhapsodic Quintet / Piano Quartet [Import]

Herbert Howells , Thea King , Bernard Roberts , Richards Ensemble Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Performer: Thea King, Bernard Roberts, Richards Ensemble
  • Composer: Herbert Howells
  • Audio CD (5 Nov 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Lyrita
  • ASIN: B000YAQPN2
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,649 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Quartet in A minor
2. Fantasy String Quartet
3. Rhapsodic Quintet for clarinet, two violins and cello

Product Description

Quatuor pour piano op.21 - Fantaisie pour quatuor à cordes op.25 - Quintette Rhapsodique pour clarinette, 2 violons, alto & violoncelle / Thea King, clarinette - Richards Piano Quartet - Richards Ensemble

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars howells chamber music 31 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD
The name of Herbert Howells is remembered today for his contribution to church music, of which he was arguably the finest exponent of the twentieth century. It is only during the last 20 - 30 years that his secular compositions have enjoyed a welcome revival. In point of fact, as a young man, Howells earned a reputation as a brilliant musical technician, producing some major works, including two piano concertos, and an orchestral suite "The Bs" which shows remarkable technical assurance in someone who had yet to complete his studies at the RCM. (How the piece had to wait 70 years for its first recording beggars belief!). Even the curmudgeonly Charles Stanford, Howells' composition teacher, referred to him as "my son in music" - an accolade indeed.

Among these early works was a series of sumptuous chamber pieces, the most significant of which - the Piano Quartet, the Rhapsodic Quintet, and the Phantasy Quartet - all appear on this Lyrita disc. The same programme has also been recorded by Metier, so there is an excellent opportunity for the keen listener to make comparisons.

The Piano Quartet was written in 1916, when Howells was 24, and is cast in the usual three movements. It is dedicated to "the hill at Chosen, and to Ivor Gurney who knows it". The place in question is Churchdown, a few miles outside Gloucester. Marion Scott (Gurney's great champion after his mental collapse) - apparently with the composer's approval - describes each movement in terms of this landmark in various moods. The first movement depicts the hill at dawn touched by the sun's first rays. The second shows the hill on a midsummer's day under an eternal blue sky, along with the thoughts that such a scene might evoke.
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