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Berkeley, Benjamin: Piano Works / Colin Horsley, Lamar Crowson


Release Date: 11/11/2008 
Label:  Lyrita   Catalog #: 2109   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Lennox BerkeleyArthur Benjamin
Performer:  Colin HorsleyLamar Crowson
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 25 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Berkeley's 1945 Sonata has emotional and romantic muscle and stands a little distant from the Gallic tendencies of his more mature works. It rests close to the same vicinity as Berkeley's Job, the glorious yet neglected Cello Concerto and the stormily passionate Nocturne for Orchestra – the latter in the same ball park as Barber’s Essays and all unrecorded. While not quite as wild-eyed as Howard Ferguson's Piano Sonata this is still fervent music - fervently played. The third movement Adagio is quite powerful after the deftly light touch of the Presto (II). The Six Preludes of 1944 are well known. Horsley, who also recorded the Ireland Piano Concerto for EMI, revels in the liquid pearlescence of No. 1. Many of the Preludes are quirky Read more but full of interest - like the gawky Haydnesque No.5 - which also has a dash or two of Shostakovich. Then again you encounter romantic interludes such as the masterly Allegretto (4) and the Ireland-like final Andante - a treasure. Much the same can be said of the charming little Impromptu. Both the elbows-out 1949 Scherzo and the 1955 Concert Study have a touch of rough necromancy about them. Further back in time are three of the four 1940 Concert Studies. These are from the same era as the Cello Concerto. The Second is an obstinate obsessive piece. The Third and Fourth rush past in irritable Prokofievian motley.

Lyrita did much for Berkeley's orchestral music. As for Benjamin they provided the definitive version of the Symphony - a glory of 1940s symphonism and not to be overlooked. His piano music, in better than usual mono, is played by Lamar Crowson who also recorded Benjamin's Concerto Quasi Una Fantasia for Everest. The Pastorale, Arioso and Finale were written during Benjamin's 1940s sojourn conducting the Vancouver Symphony. It is dedicated to his friend Jack Henderson and is from the same decade as the Symphony. The music is in a romantic-impressionistic vein without the Prokofiev-like sweep of the Symphony. The Arioso carries the Rachmaninov stamp. The demanding finale is faintly jazzy. The 1936 Scherzino manages to both saunter and suggest a parade of the grotesques. The eight little Etudes Improvisées are testy, balletic, quirky, hectic, brilliantly Godowskian and explosive. The halting and subtle Siciliana brings the recital to a close."

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Scherzo for Piano, Op. 32 no 2 by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2.
Impromptus (3) for Piano, Op. 7: no 1 in G minor by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
3.
Concert Study for Piano in E flat major, Op. 48 no 2 by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
4.
Scherzino by Arthur Benjamin
Performer:  Lamar Crowson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
5.
Siciliana for Piano by Arthur Benjamin
Performer:  Lamar Crowson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
6.
Sonata for Piano in A major, Op. 20: 1st movement, Moderato by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 9 Minutes 14 Secs. 
7.
Sonata for Piano in A major, Op. 20: 2nd movement, Presto by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
8.
Sonata for Piano in A major, Op. 20: 3rd movement, Adagio by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
9.
Sonata for Piano in A major, Op. 20: 4th movement, Introduzione-Allegro by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 21 Secs. 
10.
Preludes (6) for Piano, Op. 23: no 1, Allegro by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
11.
Preludes (6) for Piano, Op. 23: no 2, Andante by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 51 Secs. 
12.
Preludes (6) for Piano, Op. 23: no 3, Allegro moderato by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Lamar Crowson (Piano), Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
13.
Preludes (6) for Piano, Op. 23: no 4, Allegretto by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Lamar Crowson (Piano), Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
14.
Preludes (6) for Piano, Op. 23: no 5, Allegro by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Lamar Crowson (Piano), Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
15.
Preludes (6) for Piano, Op. 23: no 6, Andante by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Lamar Crowson (Piano), Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
16.
Concert Studies (4) for Piano, Op. 14: no 2 in E minor, Andante by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 16 Secs. 
17.
Concert Studies (4) for Piano, Op. 14: no 3 in C minor, Allegro by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
18.
Concert Studies (4) for Piano, Op. 14: no 4 in F major, Allegro by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Colin Horsley (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
19.
Pastorale, Arioso and Finale for Piano by Arthur Benjamin
Performer:  Lamar Crowson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; England 
20.
Etudes Improvisées for Piano by Arthur Benjamin
Performer:  Lamar Crowson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 

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