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Hoddinott: Piano Concertos, Harp Concerto, Clarinet Concerto

Release Date: 01/08/2008 
Label:  Lyrita   Catalog #: 330   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Alun Hoddinott
Performer:  Gervase de PeyerPhilip FowkeMartin JonesOsian Ellis
Conductor:  David AthertonSir Charles GrovesBarry WordsworthSir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraRoyal Philharmonic OrchestraLondon Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Four short concertos by the Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott. Everything here is well worth hearing but the Second Concerto stands out in this company.

This disc nicely complements the Hoddinott symphonies 2, 3 and 5 recorded by Lyrita.

Fascinating to hear these works from the 1950s even if two of them were revised in 1969-70. The three movement op. 3 Clarinet Concerto is played by the liquid-toned de Peyer who premiered it at the Cheltenham Festival. The springy and flighty zest of the outer movements recalls Berkeley at one moment and Rawsthorne the next. It has a drier disposition than the contemporary Finzi concerto. The 1957 Harp Concerto is played by Osian Ellis who gave the premiere again at the
Read more Cheltenham Festival in 1958. Seven years after the Clarinet Concerto Hoddinott had found his voice. It is an intriguing voice, often delicate with percussion decoration and address, with a chilly dissonant edge to motifs and melodies and an atmospheric rather than overtly emotional character. The titles of the movements hint at the approach: Dialogue, Improvisation and Fantasy and all are in keeping with the soul of the harp.

The Piano Concerto No. 1 is scored for an orchestra of woodwind and brass with timps, percussion and celesta. It's the only digital recording here. The concerto was premiered in London by Valerie Tryon - who also championed the Second - in the year of composition. Across its four movements it is stern and touched with a sense of nightmare. The sauntering piano line and threatening air again seems to look to Rawsthorne but also to a work which presumably Hoddinott would not have known: Bridge's Phantasm. There is hint of cool jazziness and even a casual confidence in the finale. The compact Second Piano Concerto reverts to three movements and a more 'normal' orchestra. This work is intensely expressive with a deeply impressive Adagio set between the meditative and capricious Moderato and a darkly businesslike final Allegro.

Four short concertos by the Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott. Everything here is well worth hearing but the Second Concerto stands out in this company.

-- Rob Barnett, Music Web International
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Clarinet no 1, Op. 3 by Alun Hoddinott
Performer:  Gervase de Peyer (Clarinet)
Conductor:  David Atherton,  Sir Charles Groves
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; Wales, UK 
Concerto for Piano no 1, Op. 19 by Alun Hoddinott
Performer:  Philip Fowke (Piano)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960 
Concerto for Piano no 2, Op. 21 by Alun Hoddinott
Performer:  Martin Jones (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960/1969 
Concerto for harp, Op. 11 by Alun Hoddinott
Performer:  Osian Ellis (Harp)
Conductor:  David Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957/1970 

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