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Blake: Violin Sonata, Piano Quartet, etc / Mitchell, Blake, Essex, et al

Album Summary

>Blake, Howard : Sonata for Violin, Op. 586
>Blake, Howard : Penillion, for violin & piano, Op. 571
>Blake, Howard : Piano Quartet, Op. 179
>Blake, Howard : Jazz Dances, for violin & piano, Op. 520a
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

In addition to his distinguished career as a pianist and conductor, Howard Blake is a popular and prolific composer who has received an OBE for services to music. Besides film scores (which include the extraordinarily successful and popular 'The Snowman'), choral, orchestral and instrumental works, ballets and opera, his output includes much chamber music. This disc presents world premiere recordings of four important works; the virtuosic 'Violin Sonata', the hauntingly beautiful 'Penillion', the sunshine-filled 'Piano Quartet' with its touching slow movement, and the 'Jazz Dances', which, in the composer's words, "pay mischievous but affectionate homage to the rhythmic intricacies of popular dance forms."

Catholic News Agency
Blake's engaging melodiousness lies somewhere between Dvorák and salon music. Certainly, "Penillion" has the warmth of Dvorák. I suppose that one reaction to these works might be slight condescension due to the popular aspect of their melodies; the other reaction, which is mine, is simply to appreciate this very easy-to-enjoy music. Quite surprisingly, considering that some of them go back to 1974, all of these works are receiving their world premiere recordings. The string quartet music is played most engagingly by the Edinburgh Quartet, and the various soloists on the second CD are equally fine.



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Works Details

>Blake, Howard : Sonata for Violin, Op. 586
  • Performers: Howard Blake (Piano); Madeleine Mitchell (Violin)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (05/24/2008-05/25/2008)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1973-2007

>Blake, Howard : Penillion, for violin & piano, Op. 571
  • Performers: Howard Blake (Piano); Madeleine Mitchell (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1975-2005

>Blake, Howard : Piano Quartet, Op. 179
  • Performers: Howard Blake (Piano); Kenneth Essex (Viola); Jack Rothstein (Violin); Peter Willison (Cello)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Blake, Howard : Jazz Dances, for violin & piano, Op. 520a
  • Performers: Howard Blake (Piano); Madeleine Mitchell (Violin)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1976-2008