DCD34209-CD

Cecil Coles, Gustav Holst: Piano Music

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AVAILABLE FROM 23 APRIL 2021

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Behind the lines of the Western Front, the young Scottish composer Cecil Coles sent his friend and mentor Gustav Holst a score, stained with mud and blood. Only one movement survived: the rest was believed destroyed by enemy action.Four months later Coles himself was killed in battle rescuing injured comrades.

James Willshire’s groundbreaking survey of his piano music reveals a composer finding his voice in pre-war Britain, France and Germany, a poignant and distinctive blend of ‘happy–sad’, as Nigel Osborne’s perceptive notes describe it.After the war, Holst’s own work shows him returning to his fascination with folk music with ‘fresh ears of almost shocking clarity’, in harmonic experiments that parallel those of Bartók.

The recital culminates in a compelling performance of Iain Farrington’s new arrangement of one of Holst’s orchestral masterpieces, a bleak, ambitious depiction of Thomas Hardy’s ‘untameable, inviolate’ Egdon Heath.

James Willshire piano 

Cecil Coles
Sonata in c minor
Variations on an Original Theme
Trianon Gavotte
Five Sketches
Valse
Five Little Variations on an Original Theme
Triste et Gai

Gustav Holst
Egdon Heath
Toccata
Christmas day in the morning
I hae seen the roses blaw
The Shoemakker
Nocturne
Jig
Egdon Heath

Reviews will appear here after release date

Recorded on 28-29 August 2020in The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Piano: Steinway, Model D, serial no. 599478 (2015)
Piano technician: Norman Motion
 
Producer/Engineer: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital editing: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Design: Drew Padrutt,Booklet editor: Henry Howard
 
Cover: Walter Tyndale (1855–1943), Bere Heathin Autumn with Gallows Hill in the Distance,chromolithographed plate from Clive Holland andWalter Tyndale, Wessex Painted and Described
(London: Adam and Charles Black, 1906): Niday
 
 

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