Thomas Pitfield: Chamber Music


Dennis Simons (violin)
Keith Swallow (piano)
Tracey Chadwell (soprano)
John McCabe (piano)
John Turner (recorder)
Richard Simpson (oboe)

HTGCD210 – 5060332661510

Tommy Pitfield was a twentieth century Renaissance man. He was a composer, artist, poet, writer, teacher, ornithologist, and probably much else which his modesty shielded from public notice. But it is his music he served most devotedly. In 1947 he became a teacher of composition at the Royal Manchester College of Music, holding the post through the time of the merger into the Royal Northern College of Music and retiring a year later. He had many distinguished pupils, of whom John McCabe was but one. In his own music he shows ingenuity, imagination, inventiveness, wit and versatility. This recording includes a representative selection of works from over 50 years of composition and appears with kind permission of the principal of the Royal Northern College of Music.

The majority of works here are world premiere recordings given by artists who have a close affinity with Manchester and the music of Pitfield and as such will be highly sought after by aficionados of twentieth century British music.

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Violin Sonata No. 1 in A; Dennis Simons and Keith Swallow 

Three Miniatures (for soprano and violin); Tracey Chadwell and Dennis Simons 

Eight Songs (for soprano and piano); Tracey Chadwell and Keith Swallow 

Rondo all Tarantella (for recorder and piano); John Turner and John McCabe 

Prelude, Minuet and Reel (for piano); John McCabe 

Three Nautical Sketches (for recorder and piano); John Turner and John McCabe 

Novelette in F (for piano) & Studies on an English Dance Tune (for piano); John McCabe 

Polka (for oboe and piano) & Oboe Sonata in A MinorRichard Simpson and Janet Simpson

Total time:    69'43"


  1. admin

    ‘I should imagine that the composer was thrilled with his performer friends. It's difficult to imagine more sensitive renditions of these pieces…This is English music at its most modest, subtle and sensitive, easily underrated and overlooked. For anyone with an exploratory outlook it’s well worth investigating.’
    Gary Higginson, Musicweb International, April 2016

  2. admin

    ‘The performers, including John McCabe and Tracey Chadwell (both “late”, alas), as well as the ever-present John Turner, give an inspiring account of all these pieces…… This is an important re-release of music by Thomas Pitfield… I believe that this disc serves as a great introduction to the composer’s chamber works and songs.’
    John France, MusicWeb International, April 2016

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