John Gardner: Piano Concerto No. 1

Naxos: 8570406

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John Gardner: Piano Concerto No. 1

Label:

Naxos

Catalogue No:

8570406
(8.570406)

Discs:

1

Release date:

28th Aug 2007

Barcode:

0747313040674

Length:

71 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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John Gardner: Piano Concerto No. 1


Gardner, John:

Overture: Midsummer Ale, Op. 73

Midsummer Ale is a classic piece of British light music with delightfully catchy melodies.

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 34

Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 2


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John Gardner: Midsummer Ale Overture, Op. 73

Midsummer Ale Overture, Op. 73

John Gardner: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 34

I. Allegro con brio

II. Theme and variations

III. Finale: Rondo

John Gardner: Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 2

I. Lento e grave

II. Scherzo: Allegro

III. Lento

IV. Finale: Allegro molto

BBC Music Magazine

February 2008

****

“These fine, dedicated performances are undoubtedly a fitting gift to the composer on his 90th birthday.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“This coupling of two of John Gardner's major works, plus a sparkling comedy overture, could not be more welcome. He celebrated his 90th birthday in 2007, and has always been astonishingly prolific; maybe one reason for his neglect when there is so much to choose from.
The First Symphony (1946-47), the most extended work on the new disc, is in four movements spanning more than 40 minutes. The idiom is more abrasive than in Gardner's later works, with a grinding slow introduction leading to an Allegro with echoes of Walton in its jazzy syncopations, though with sharper harmonies. A chattering Scherzo in triple time leads to a Lento slow movement with whole-tone passages and orchestration echoing Debussy and Ravel. The finale is strongly rhythmic. As always in Gardner's music the orchestration is brilliantly clear, and after an interlude of stillness, the work ends with a ripe and optimistic D major chord.
The First Piano Concerto (1957) offers a contrasted idiom in its percussive echoes of the Bartók concertos, suiting Peter Donohoe's strong style admirably in a performance brilliantly backed by the RSNO. The clangorous opening movement leads to a still slow movement with echoes of Bartók but also of John Ireland. The finale brings more echoes of Walton and Arnold in music that is invariably attractive and distinctive.
The disc is dazzlingly rounded off with a rumbustious comedy overture Midsummer Ale, which should bring renewed attention to the composer's most attractive music.”

Gramophone Magazine

November 2007

“A victim of late ’50s Darmstadtism, Gardner’s music is making a welcome comeback...The First Piano Concerto (1967) offers a contrasted idiom in its percussive echoes of the Bartók concertos, suiting Peter Donohoe's strong style admirably in a performance brilliantly backed by David Lloyd-Jones and the RSNO. The disc is dazzlingly rounded off with a rumbustious comedy overture. Midsummer Ale, which I hope will bring renewed attention to the composer's most attractive music.”

Penguin Guide

2011 edition

“This coupling of two of John Gardner's major works, plus a sparkling comedy overture, could not be more welcome...By rights this disc will bring renewed attention to the music of a most attractive composer.”

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