EMR CD042 | DETAILS
  EMR CD042
   
  SEA-CROON
The Voice of the Cello in the 1920s
  Joseph Spooner (vc) | Rebeca Omordia (pf)
Maureen Galea (pf)
   
  EAN 5 060263 500421

The 1920s were a period of ferment in English musical life: some composers were working within a late Romantic vein; others (like their European contemporaries) were collecting and reworking folk music; and others still were pursuing their own paths. ‘Sea-Croon: The Voice of the Cello in the 1920s’ explores these diverse avenues with a sequence of works, all but one World Première recordings. The disc opens with Eric Fogg’s ‘Poem’, written for the composer and his future wife to perform; it looks beyond English shores and there are echoes of Rachmaninov. Much of Fogg’s music has sadly been lost, and his ‘Poem’ reveals what is an impassioned and distinctive voice. There follow John Ireland’s magnificent Sonata, a cornerstone of the English repertory for cello and piano; and one of Cyril Scott’s transcriptions of an Irish folksong. Frederic Austin is perhaps better known as a baritone, but his substantial Sonata, with demanding writing for both instruments, reveals a composer at home with an evolved, harmonically complex and sometimes rhapsodic style. The disc’s title track, ‘Sea-Croon’, is a very rare chamber work by Greville Cooke, a previously undiscovered English Romantic championed by EM Records. Despite the gentle nature of this folk-style creation, the musical language, as with Cooke’s other works, surprises with its unexpected turns. William Alwyn’s Two Folk-Tunes show how comfortably a folk-style creation and a direct transcription sit together. The disc closes with the Sonatina by Benjamin Burrows, who lived in Leicester and was a respected teacher, music publisher and horologist. His music has come to wider attention in recent years, and the inspiration for his very personal musical voice seems to have been a female student, for whom he wrote more than 90 songs. The intense lyricism paired with remarkable concision found here is a long way from the expansiveness of John Ireland. ‘Sea-Croon’ presents a fresh view of the English cello repertory in the 1920s, away from those composers – Bainton, Bantock, Bax, Bowen, Gurney – whose cello works have already been brought to public attention.

TRACK LISTING AND AUDIO EXTRACTS
     
Eric Fogg (1903–1939)    
1. ‘POEM’ (1922)  
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John Ireland (1879–1962)
SONATA (1923)
   
2. Moderato e sostenuto  
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3. Poco largamente  
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4. Con moto e marcato  
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Cyril Scott (1879–1970)
5. ‘THE GENTLE MAIDEN’ (IRISH AIR) (c.1925)  
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Frederic Austin (1872–1952)
SONATA (1927)
6. Allegro moderato  
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7. Moderato  
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8. Allegro non troppo  
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Greville Cooke (1894–1992)
9. ‘SEA-CROON’ (1929)  
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William Alwyn (1905–1985)
TWO FOLK-TUNES (1929)
10. ‘Meditation on a Norwegian Folk-Song Fragment’  
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11. ‘Who’ll buy my besoms?’  
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Benjamin Burrows (1891–1966)
SONATINA (1930)
12. Moderato  
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13. Slow  
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14. Allegro  
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15. Allegro  
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REVIEWS
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.
EMR CD31 | BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Exquisitely rewarding... Ravishing accounts.
EMR CD029 | CHOIR AND ORGAN
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.

EMR CD028 | INTERNATIONAL
RECORD REVIEW

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.
EMR CD024 | INTERNATIONAL PIANO
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.
EMR CD023 | THE STRAD