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A mention as a named subscriber in the CD booklet
A pair of free tickets to the launch event, held at a major venue
A complimentary signed copy of the CD immediately upon its release


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Celebrated baritone Roderick Williams joins the Bridge Quartet and pianist Michael Dussek – familiar to followers of the label from their previous discs of chamber music by Norman O’Neill, Sir Hubert Parry, Ivor Gurney and Peter Warlock among many other composers – in this new recording, which features the World Première recordings of important and evocative works by Ivor Gurney. Central to this disc is the 1920 song-cycle ‘A Western Playland’, which sets eight poems by Housman in a nostalgic narrative – a tapestry of powerfully cohesive musical threads. The work was subject to extensive revision before its publication in 1926 and is here presented here in the comprehensive 2013 edition by the noted Gurney scholar Philip Lancaster.


As a companion to this elegiac work, the Bridge Quartet present the World Première recording of the String Quartet in D minor, composed in 1925. Gurney wrote no fewer than 15 string quartets during the period of his creative maturity, but many of these are missing and are presumed to have been destroyed. Miraculously, however, the 1925 quartet survived in a set of parts transcribed from Gurney’s score by his friend and champion Marion Scott. The extensive four-movement work is joyfully filled with folk-music idioms and brims with Gurney’s youthful memories of his Gloucestershire upbringing. Gloucester Cathedral is also a powerful presence, with ecstatic bell peals and melodic lines redolent of choral melismata informing the outer movements, while the Scherzo is characterised by playfully oscillating rhythmic patterns that also recall campanology. Only the rapt and intimately prayerful Adagio stands as an ode to a world that Gurney knew he would never again inhabit.


Songs for baritone and piano, masterfully presented by Roderick Williams and Michael Dussek, complete a disc full of powerful emotion, lyrical intensity, and searing beauty. By bringing previously lost manuscripts to life, this recording brings to the music-loving public the vibrant voice of a British composer and poet who created inspirational art in circumstances of extreme diversity.


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Beautifully shaped by Benjamin Frith... Beguiling sounds, graced by the tawny richness and unexaggerated line of Richard Jenkinson’s cello playing... The sense of purpose and sureness of line of Ian Venables’ music is pure oxygen.
Exquisitely rewarding... Ravishing accounts.
This is music of great beauty and integrity and the performances fully do it justice. It would be criminal to let it pass you by.


The Bridge Quartet approach these pieces with a sympathetic and insightful warmth, and confirm their ambassadorial credentials for British chamber music. A lovely, radiant disc.
EMR CD025 | Gramophone
Duncan Honeybourne’s playing is astonishingly affectionate, yet never saccharine... Honeybourne plays with suave confidence.
Rupert Marshall-Luck is an ideal interpreter: generously but not effusively lyrical; agile and athletic... The warm, folk-song like slow movement is at times almost painfully beautiful, with a shimmering pastoral central section... Marshall-Luck is, again, indefatigable and keenly picks up on the work’s melancholic strain.  Finely recorded and with comprehensive booklet notes, this is a must for fans of 20th-century English repertoire.