Joseph Spooner – ‘remembered melody … vibrant echoes’ works for cello and piano by Jacob, Cooke and Pantcheff (2024) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Joseph Spooner – ‘remembered melody … vibrant echoes’ works for cello and piano by Jacob, Cooke and Pantcheff (2024)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:22:09 minutes | 741 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © ASC Records

There has been a flurry of recording activity in recent years around British works for cello and piano, with the repertoire finally receiving the attention it deserves from artists, critics, and record labels alike. New light has been cast on familiar pieces and neglected treasures have been heard for the first time. Yet despite these endeavours, much remains to be done to bring the full range of this music to audiences. Long-time colleagues Joseph Spooner and Duncan Honeybourne, two of Britain’s foremost exponents of this repertoire, have now collaborated to bring together the known, the neglected and the new in a generous selection of works.

The known composers here are E. J. Moeran and Gordon Jacob. Moeran’s works for cello and piano of the late 1940s (the Prelude, the Irish Lament, and the monumental Sonata) have all been recorded previously, though surprisingly they have never been presented together. The performers here bring their long-standing affection for Moeran and experience of his music to bear on fresh interpretations of these emotional yet glorious works.

It is quite astounding that a work as substantial as Gordon Jacob’s Sonata of 1957 has never previously been recorded, and the performers are delighted to present it here in its full, craggy, and melancholy splendour. Greville Cooke’s neglected Sonata, dating to 1966–67 but written in a rather earlier idiom, has only recently come to light after several decades in hiding. It is a touching, lyrical piece that refuses to conform to traditional notions of evolution in music.

The newest music on the disc is the 1983–84 Sonata by Richard Pantcheff, a work of power and dark drama.

Tracklist:
1-1. Joseph Spooner – Moeran: Prelude for Cello and Piano (04:57)
1-2. Joseph Spooner – Moeran: Sonata for Cello and Piano I. Tempo moderato (08:27)
1-3. Joseph Spooner – Moeran: Sonata for Cello and Piano II. Adagio (05:50)
1-4. Joseph Spooner – Moeran: Sonata for Cello and Piano III. Allegro (07:46)
1-5. Joseph Spooner – Jacob: Sonata for Cello and Piano I. Allegro (05:55)
1-6. Joseph Spooner – Jacob: Sonata for Cello and Piano II. Allegro vivace (03:34)
1-7. Joseph Spooner – Jacob: Sonata for Cello and Piano III. Adagio (06:28)
1-8. Joseph Spooner – Jacob: Sonata for Cello and Piano IV. Allegro molto (04:10)
1-9. Joseph Spooner – Cooke: Sonata for Cello and Piano I. Allegro vigoroso (04:27)
1-10. Joseph Spooner – Cooke: Sonata for Cello and Piano II. Largo, con molto espressione (07:01)
1-11. Joseph Spooner – Cooke: Sonata for Cello and Piano III. Allegro risoluto (03:21)
1-12. Joseph Spooner – Pantcheff: Sonata for Cello and Piano I. Lenot – Ritmico (07:00)
1-13. Joseph Spooner – Pantcheff: Sonata for Cello and Piano II. Duets (03:55)
1-14. Joseph Spooner – Pantcheff: Sonata for Cello and Piano III. Molto allegro – Adagio (05:05)
1-15. Joseph Spooner – Moeran: Irish Lament (04:06)

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