Stanford: Chamber Works Benjamin Frith, Members of the Dante and Endellion Quartets
Label: SOMM Recordings
Subgenre: Chamber Music
Composer: Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)
- Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852 - 1924): String Quintet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 85:
- 1String Quintet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 85: I. Allegro08:11
- 2String Quintet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 85: II. Andante07:40
- 3String Quintet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 85: III. Allegretto - Allegro12:11
- 3 Intermezzi, Op. 13 (Version for Cello & Piano):
- 43 Intermezzi, Op. 13 (Version for Cello & Piano): No. 1, Andante espressivo03:15
- 53 Intermezzi, Op. 13 (Version for Cello & Piano): No. 2, Allegro agitato - Tranquillo02:21
- 63 Intermezzi, Op. 13 (Version for Cello & Piano): No. 3, Allegretto scherzando02:35
- String Quintet No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 86:
- 7String Quintet No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 86: I. Allegro molto moderato ma energico10:01
- 8String Quintet No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 86: II. Andante08:16
- 9String Quintet No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 86: III. Allegro molto03:29
- 10String Quintet No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 86: IV. Finale. Adagio - Allegro giusto08:29
Info for Stanford: Chamber Works
SOMM Recordings’ widely acclaimed survey of Charles Villiers Stanford’s chamber music continues with his two String Quintets and Three Intermezzi arranged for cello and piano.
A unique collaboration between members of the Dante and Endellion Quartets, together with pianist Benjamin Frith, sees first recordings of the String Quintet No.2 in C minor and the arrangement of the Three Intermezzi.
Composed with Stanford’s lifelong mentor, the legendary violinist Joseph Joachim, in mind, the Quintets are the product of a master craftsman speaking with his own distinctive voice. Both were first performed in 1904 and separately owe a direct and glancing debt to Brahms. The First echoes the three-movement structure of Brahms’ First Quintet and its melodious warmth although its second movement strikingly makes use of an archaic form of Irish traditional singing – sean nós (literally “old style”).
Composed to mark the 60th anniversary of Joachim’s first visit to Britain, the Second Quintet shares what Stanford authority Jeremy Dibble in his erudite booklet notes describes as “the same serious demeanour and a similar outlook towards grand architecture” of Brahms’ First Symphony, which Joachim conducted on that occasion.
Originally composed for clarinet and piano, the Three Intermezzi of 1880 display a masterly interplay between cello and piano in Stanford’s own arrangement.
The Dante Quartet’s three-volume survey of Stanford’s String Quartets was universally admired. Of Volume 2 (SOMMCD 0185), Gramophone enthused:
“All three of the works on this disc are premiere recordings, an astonishing state of affairs for what must surely be the most significant quartet cycle by any British composer before Frank Bridge. That alone makes this disc essential listening… They’re each worth hearing, and the Dante Quartet go at them with red-blooded gusto and an energy that’s clearly born from the thrill of discovery… SOMM and the Dantes have broken important new ground with impressive commitment.”
“The musicians in this recording play with real fire and commitment, and are admirable advocates for these superb scores. The performances are beautifully recorded in an ambience that confers warmth and intimacy. Who better than Jeremy Dibble, renowned authority and biographer of Stanford, to provide the accompanying booklet notes. None of the works on this disc had I heard before, but I’m immensely grateful to have made a first encounter.” (Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International)
Benjamin Frith, piano
was encouraged by his teacher, Dame Fanny Waterman, to pursue a musical career after winning the Dudley National Concerto Competition aged fourteen. Since then he has been a first prizewinner in the Rubinstein Piano Masters Competition where he was also awarded the special prize for chamber music, and was awarded top prize in the Busoni International Piano Competition. With acclaim for his American and Edinburgh Festival debuts, he established himself as an international concert artist, and has given recitals and concerto performances throughout Europe, Northern America, India, Kazakhstan and the Far East. He has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras including the Berlin Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Halle, the BBC orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, and the Royal Philharmonic, and with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Antoni Wit, Tamas Vasary, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Matthias Bamert, Moshe Atzmon, Gianandrea Noseda and Sir Mark Elder. His diverse repertoire ranges from Scarlatti to James Macmillan and includes over fifty concertos, and much praise has been bestowed on his recordings. Frith’s enjoyment of chamber music has been fulfilled through his performances and recordings as pianist in the Gould Piano Trio and the formation of his own Piano Quartet.