Magazine article Gramophone

Howells * Corp: Corp Cello Concerto

Magazine article Gramophone

Howells * Corp: Corp Cello Concerto

Article excerpt

Howells * Corp

Corp Cello Concerto (a) Howells Cello Concerto (compl Clinch) (a). Two Pieces, Op 20 (a) Alice Neary vc Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Ronald Corp Dutton (F) CDLX7317 (72' * DDD)

Herbert Howells made initial sketches for a cello concerto in 1933 but it was the tragic death in 1935 of his nine-year-old son Michael that changed the nature of the work. Composition provided a means of dealing with his grief. One result was his masterpiece Hymnus Paradisi. Another was the Cello Concerto, though only the first movement (entitled Fantasia) was ever completed; the second was orchestrated by Christopher Palmer in 1992 (entitled Threnody). Both were recorded by Moray Welsh and Richard Hickox back in 1995 on Chandos (3/96). The third has now been completed by Jonathan Clinch, whose booklet (and Gramophone blog) tells the whole fascinating story.

One has to be in the right frame of mind to listen to the Concerto. It is not, frankly, a work to put a spring in your step on a sunny summer Monday morning; rather it puts one in mind of one of Atkinson Grimshaw's rain-sodden gaslit landscapes. …

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