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Arnold & Lambert - Piano Music
As Andrew Achenbach intimates in his review, this is a classy recital from a classy pianist. Mark Bebbington pairs
works by Sir Malcolm Arnold (for an 85th birthday tribute) and Constant Lambert to complementary effect.
But he brings out the invention that is common to both, the individuality that perhaps kept each from really joining the mainstream. - Gramophone Magazine
“Mark Bebbington's 85th-birthday tribute to the late Sir Malcolm Arnold starts with his first substantial piano composition, the Piano Sonata in B minor from 1942. After a concise opening movement, a wistful Andante con moto leads without a break into the Alla marcia finale, whose element of ironic burlesque suggests an acquaintance with Prokofiev and Shostakovich. The Piano Pieces, completed the following year, already possess that bittersweet tang characteristic of the composer.
However, the meatiest Arnold offering here is the absorbing 1944 Variations on a UkrainianFolksong. Bebbington is a splendidly intrepidly communicative and an unruffled advocate.
He also benefits from a superbly rounded, firmly focused sound-picture.
Bebbington proves equally at home in the music of Constant Lambert. His interpretation of the magnificent 1929 Sonata that bridges the gap between The Rio Grande (1927) and the Piano Concerto (1930-31) has all the stylish aplomb, improvisatory freedom and infectious swagger one could wish for, yet with a touch more introspection and poignancy in the bluesy slow movement than either Ian Brown or John McCabe locate. The finale hurtles menacingly towards its grim apotheosis, after which the skies darken further still for the inconsolable Elegy that Lambert wrote in 1938. The three movement Suite from 1925 is full of daring, ear-tickling invention (sample the hallucinatory opening Andante) and a striking achievement for someone barely out of their teens. The sweetly touching Elegiac Blues of 1927 (written within days of the news of the early death of singer Florence Mills) rounds off another high-class collection from this intelligent and tasteful performer.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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20th Century British Piano Music, Vol. 3
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)
Best of British
And I saw a new heaven
The Lord is my Shepherd, Op. 91 No. 1
The Water Mill
The Rout Trot
A Hymn of Saint Columba
Dance in the Twilight
Impressions of a Princess - Intermezzo
Dam Busters March
Punchinello - Miniature Overture
March from A Little Suite
Introduction & Allegro for strings, Op. 47
Portrait of a Flirt
Gardiner, H B:
Overture to a Comedy
Dances from the music of Henry VIII
By the Tarn, Op. 15 No. 1
Faire is the Heaven
Rouge et Noir
I love the Lord
Like as the Hart
Greater Love Hath No Man
Waltz for string orchestra
Let all the world in every corner sing
One foot in Eden still, I stand
Puppets Suite: No. 3 - Punch
Ace of Hearts
Piano Exaggerations: Antiquary
The Printer's Devil
Piano Exaggerations: Sleepy Piano
Naylor, E W:
Vox dicentis: Clama
Lullaby for Penelope
Three English Dances
Where the Rainbow Ends - suite
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Old Sir Faulk
Set me as a seal upon thine heart
Sonata for String Orchestra
Ascending Into Heaven
Hail, gladdening Light
Richard Rodney Bennett (piano)
Pro Arte Orchestra, Studio Two Concert Orchestra, Light Music Society Orchestra, English Sinfonia, Northern Sinfonia of England, Choir of King's College Cambridge, City of London Sinfonia, George Weldon, Reginald Kilbey, Vivian Dunn, Eric Coates, Richard Hickox, Stephen Cleobury
The very best of British music, with the finest British artists: after a disc of such evergreen light favourites as Elizabethan Serenade and the Dam Busters march, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett takes us from the dizzy displays of Billy Mayerl to the dark despair of Constant Lambert. The late Richard Hickox reveals the charm of the English miniature and presents three string masterpieces; in between, the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, in definitive accounts of 19th- and 20th-century anthems.
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