Percy & Friends: The Music of Grainger and his Circle
HTGCD 179 – 5060332662050
American pianist, Richard Masters, explores the piano works of Percy Grainger and his circle – while a student at the Hoch Conservatory, Frankfurt, Grainger studied piano with James Kwast and composition with Ivan Knorr. Knorr provided a key connection to four other composition students who would eventually be known as the Frankfurt Group. The group was comprised of five English-speaking expatriates: Grainger, Norman O’Neill (1875-1934), Cyril Scott (1879-1970), Henry Balfour Gardiner (1877-1950), and Roger Quilter (1877-1953). They wished to break out in new directions, to free English music from the yoke of Germanic oppression, blazing new trails that did not rely on the work of the much-despised Beethoven or other similar Teutons for guidance. The result was music that embraced irregular rhythms, exotic harmonies, expanding the vocabulary of the piano and utilizing it as a technicolour, evocative, and sometimes percussive instrument.
Roger Quilter: Summer Evening (from Three Pieces, Op. 16)
Henry Balfour Gardiner: Con brio (from Shenadoah and Other Pieces); Adagio (from Five Pieces); Gavotte (from Five Pieces)
Cyril Scott: Lento (from Two Pierrot Pieces, Op. 35); Pierrette; Cherry Ripe; Rainbow Trout
Norman O’Neill: Deux Petites Pièces, Op. 27;
Frederick Delius: In a Summer Garden (trans. Philip Heseltine)
Percy Grainger: Bridal Lullaby; Shepherd’s Hey; Colonial Song; Spoon River; The Nightingale and the Two Sisters; Scotch Strathspey and Reel
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‘This is a splendid CD. The playing is superb from end to end… .It is great that he has caught enthusiasm for British and Commonwealth piano music.’ John France MusicWeb International
‘This well thought out and very well played recording’ Transcentury Blogpost