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Hamilton Harty: String Quartets; Piano Quintet / Piers Lane, piano

Audio Samples

>Harty, Hamilton, Sir : Piano Quintet in F major, Op. 12
>Harty, Hamilton, Sir : Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 5
>Harty, Hamilton, Sir : Quartet for Strings no 1 in F major, Op. 1

Album Summary

>Harty, Hamilton, Sir : Piano Quintet in F major, Op. 12
>Harty, Hamilton, Sir : Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 5
>Harty, Hamilton, Sir : Quartet for Strings no 1 in F major, Op. 1
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Acclaimed pianist Piers Lane and his fellow Australians, the Goldner String Quartet, reprise their highly successful partnership in world-premiere recordings of the two String Quartets and Piano Quintet of Irish composer Hamilton Harty. Harty (1879 - 1941) was a remarkable, self-taught musician who wrote in a lyrical Romantic idiom, while incorporating a modal astringency and folk-music charm that are reminiscent of Percy Grainger. In particular, the winding, pentatonic melody of the Lento of the quintet and the delightful 'jig' of the first movement of the second quartet seem like settings of folk melodies that have echoed for centuries around the green hills of Ireland. Intriguingly, however, they are entirely Harty's own invention.

"The quartets are fluent if unremarkable works...but the piano quintet is much more impressive. It's a real discovery: a big, bold statement full of striking melodic ideas and intriguing harmonic shifts...Lane strikes a nice balance between assertiveness and delicacy in the piano writing, with the Goldner's refinement and beauty of tone providing the perfect foil; their accounts of Op 1 and Op 4 are equally poised and immaculate." -The Guardian

Gramophone Magazine
Piers Lane plays immaculately with great sympathy; and though the Goldner Quartet are not the richest-toned group, they too play warmly to bring out the finest qualities of the music. Altogether a delightful disc of music neglected for far too long.

BBC Music Magazine
The Goldner String Quartet, joined in the Quintet by fellow Australian Piers Lane, display just the right warmth and spirit to suit this attractive music, much of it written con brio. Jeremy Dibble's notes are rather dry, but Hyperion's succulent recording is a peach.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
The Goldner Quartet and Piers Lane play well and very musically, but the overall tone sounds a little bright, and the piano is a bit too prominent. The recording may be partly to blame for the brightness, but Harty bears responsibility for the piano balance. Sometimes it sounds like he was writing a piano concerto. It would be interesting to hear these pieces with a darker tone and a better balanced piano, but these performances should be enjoyed by admirers of light to moderately serious romantic chamber music.

Dibble's notes are well written and informative. People interested in Harty might look forward to his biography of the composer.

Fanfare Magazine
At under 83 minutes, the set's length would seem very short for two discs, but I've seen it advertised at a price more often found for a single disc. With that factor out of the way, the next to consider is that Harty only really hits his full musical stride with the Piano Quintet. I would suggest sampling the movements online for that reason. But if you don't mind what can only be termed the awkward charm and brilliant stumbles of the earlier pieces, you'll find much to enjoy.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk (06/23/2011-06/25/2011).



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Works Details

>Harty, Hamilton, Sir : Piano Quintet in F major, Op. 12
  • Performer: Piers Lane (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Goldner String Quartet
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk (06/23/2011-06/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 32 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1904

>Harty, Hamilton, Sir : Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 5
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk (06/23/2011-06/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1902

>Harty, Hamilton, Sir : Quartet for Strings no 1 in F major, Op. 1
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk (06/23/2011-06/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1900