Hurlstone, Lloyd, Howells

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Howells,Hurlstone,Lloyd
LABELS: Clarinet Classics
WORKS: Trio in G minor for Clarinet, Bassoon & Piano; Four Characteristic Pieces
PERFORMER: Victoria Soames (clarinet), Lawrence Perkins (bassoon), John Flinders (piano)
Victoria Soames and her colleagues should be commended for their assiduous scholarship and research in bringing this hitherto obscure music, some of which is still unpublished, to our attention. With the exception of Hurlstone’s Four Characteristic Pieces the works on this disc are all premiere recordings and should be of great interest to many listeners. The pieces by Hurlstone and Charles Harford Lloyd all date from around the turn of the century and, though overtly influenced by Schumann, Mendelssohn and Brahms, they somehow manage to convey an atmosphere of Victorian England. Of the two trios, that of Hurlstone is the most intriguing since it was written in 1894 when the composer was just 18 and offers a glimpse of what might have been had he not died just 12 years later. Trios for clarinet, bassoon and piano are rare, so the addition of these two pieces to the repertoire is most welcome. Standing apart from the rest of the music there are the two exquisite miniatures by Howells which were composed in the mid-Forties and are quintessentially English in style. All the performances are given with genuine enthusiasm and although these are no masterpieces they are certainly not presented as though second rate. Tim Payne