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Belfast-born Ferguson’s reputation as a composer rests on the 19 published works that he wrote between 1928 and 1959. Rhythmic energy endows his music with its exciting sense of momentum, underpinned by his command of Baroque and Classical forms and grasp of Romantic harmony and melody.
Such characteristics of ‘progressive conservatism’ may be heard in his Partita for Two Pianos, the earliest work on this disc.
Ferguson’s only song cycle, Discovery, was one of Kathleen Ferrier’s favourite works and is acknowledged as one of his finest compositions.
Howard Ferguson: Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 8
I. Lento - Allegro inquieto
II. Poco adagio
III. Allegro non troppo - Allegro molto, ma non presto - Lento
Howard Ferguson: Discovery, Op. 13
I. Dreams Melting
II. The Freedom of the City
IV. Jane Allen
Howard Ferguson: 5 Bagatelles, Op. 9
No. 1. Allegro con fuoco
No. 2. Andantino amabile
No. 3. Allegro scherzando
No. 4. Molto moderato
No. 5. Allegretto non troppo
Howard Ferguson: Partita (version for 2 pianos), Op. 5b
I. Grave - Allegretto pesante
II. Allegro un poco agitato
III. Andante un poco mosso
IV. Allegro con spirito
“Raphael Terroni's playing is outstanding throughout, whilst Phillida Bannister's beautifully focused contralto voice and expressive artistry in Discovery are world-class...Terroni's and Peaceman's performance of the Partita does more than fair justice to the music's strength.”
“[Terroni displays] both impressive technical security and gratefully rounded tone...He brings comparable eloquence and insight to the pithy and resourceful Five Bagatelles...and he lends instinctive support to contralto Phillida Bannister in the 1951 song-cycle Discovery.”
“this is a most rewarding and attractive programme, splendidly played (and sung)”
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