Welsh composer and pianist Huw Watkins read Music at King's College, Cambridge, where he studied composition with Robin Holloway and Alexander Goehr, and completed an MMus in composition at the Royal College of Music with Julian Anderson. He was awarded the Constant and Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music, where he is now a Professor of Composition. The centrepiece of this disc, commissioned by Sir Nicholas Goodison and premiered by Mark Padmore, sets Dylan Thomas's defiant In my craft or sullen art for tenor and string quartet. Alina Ibragimova excels in the virtuosic Partita for solo violin, which Watkins describes as a 'very fast, relentless gigue’. Huw's brother Paul is soloist in the lyrical Sonata for Cello and Eight Instruments; while there are echoes of Britten and Berkeley in the beautifully wrought Three Auden Songs, sung by tenor Mark Padmore, accompanied by Huw Watkins on piano.
“What strikes you most about Huw Watkins's music is its natural ease. Lyricism flourishes, and tonal echoes are exposed alongside chromatic scrunches and abrasive textures.”
9th June 2012
“The pick of this chamber anthology lies...in the introspective musings of the Partita for solo violin – a work of remarkable depth and compact appeal, brilliantly championed here by Ibragimova.”
“Superb performances as expected from these artists”
24th May 2012
“The three-movement Sonata for Cello and Eight Instruments...was the piece that first identified him as a composer to follow; pungent and confrontational, it still stands up well...In My Craft or Sullen Art, show Watkins' rather Brittenesque approach to word setting; his instrumental writing is more immediate, more characterful, though.”
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