Susan Legg (mezzo soprano) & Ann Martin-Davis (piano)
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
Armed with only a box of scores, it has taken two years to trace the late composer Peter Pope and his family. His life and works had been erased from the public eye because of his critical years spent as a member of the religious sect, the Exclusive Brethren, later known as the Raven-Taylor Brethren.
“Sue and I read through a handful of songs and we knew in an instant; this beautifully crafted music had to be recorded. “
Peter Pope was born in 1917 and had studied at the Royal College of Music, with John Ireland. He won a travelling scholarship to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, but his studies were cut short by the German invasion of Paris. Pope narrowly escaped death, by fleeing France on a bicycle through Northern Spain. After service in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Pope’s piano quartet received a rave review in The Times and Augeners offered to publish anything he wrote, but instead he met and married Noreen. Noreen was a member of the Exclusive Brethren (more extreme than the Plymouth brethren) who announced that Christmas and music were to be 'cancelled.' Peter didn't write another note until the sect was disbanded in 1971.
“Pope, a pupil of Robin Ireland, wrote for the most part so gently that he might not have been heard at all. But the quiet tunes sometimes acquire a recognisable personality...Both pianist and singer give sensitive, able assistance...their styles, like that of the composer, share a quality of undemonstrative rightness such as one comes to value increasingly on every encounter.”
“the songs on this disc exclusively tonal and melodic with echoes of Ireland and Finzi as much as Fauré and Ravel. They are also for the most part delicate, if smouldering with restraining passion...[Legg and Martin-Davis] lavish on Pope's songs a measure of affection commensurate with their considerable technical and musical abilities and are to be applauded for bringing such wonderful music to a wider audience.”