CYRIL SCOTT SONATA LIRICA

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Gramophone

Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review, January 2008.

"Sonata Lirica is a major find. In this likely world premiere performance, the composer is honoured by playing of some distinction: Clare Howick's consistency of tone and highly musical phrasing, admirably partnered by Sophia Rahman, make the best possible case for this work. There are other ostensibly lighter works here, all similarly well played ..." "Let us hope it [Scott's music] takes its rightful place in programmes, in which case this excellent disc will have played a valuable part in such restitution."

Musician Magazine, April 2008

“Violinist Clare Howick and pianist Sophie Rahman explore the work of the groundbreaking British composer Cyril Scott, resulting in a sublime album of intensity and imagination that can only add to the duo’s growing reputation… Splendid throughout.”

 

CYRIL SCOTT VIOLIN SONATAS

Robert Maxham
Fanfare, July 2011

Violinist Clare Howick has made something of a project of the works for violin and piano of Cyril Scott, whose Lotus Land Fritz Kreisler transcribed and recorded three times between 1922 and 1938, and movements of whose Tallahassee Suite Jascha Heifetz recorded and played in broadcasts. Howick, who played the Sonata Lyrica and other sonatas on another label, now continues her survey with Sophia Rahman on Naxos.

Richard Whitehouse’s notes identify the four-movement First Sonata as having been written in 1908, and the similarity in the first movement to Delius’s evocative music, suggested in the notes, may appear even to casual listeners. In the lush, meditative second movement, Howick produces an appropriately nuanced tone from the 1721 Stradivari violin lent to her for the recording. The engineers have balanced her with Rahman, preserving a great wealth of timbral subtlety. Howick and Rahman play incisively in the brief Scherzo (Allegro molto scherzando) proper and shift gears for the more sober trio. The finale begins with a passage on the G string in which Howick’s tone waxes extraordinarily opulent; if the movement seems to meander through perfumed gardens of sound, it finally rises to a strong-minded—and strongly emotional—conclusion.

The briefer, three-movement Sonata Melodica comes from 1950; its idiom may strike some listeners as less lavish harmonically and the statement (and subsequent development) of its ideas both more urgent and less sinuous (though never quite direct), at least in the first movement. If the piano occasionally interrupts the slow movement’s serenity, the duo’s performance remains consistently tranquil and even, toward the end, ethereal in its effect. The opening of the finale interrupts this mood, but the last movement hardly develops in a straightforward way; some of the figuration occasionally sounds vaguely reminiscent of that in Claude Debussy’s Violin Sonata, but all the strands lead to an imposing peroration.

The three-movement Third Sonata, from 1955, seems, at least in its opening moments, more bracing than its counterparts, but the tranquillo of the designation finally spreads over the whole first movement, although it’s interrupted by more impassioned statements. The second movement, “Pastorale,” begins quietly, couched in harmonies and textures that the duo projects with alluring sensitivity, especially toward the end. The finale, “Rondo Capriccioso,” once again seems to bear some affinity to Debussy’s Violin Sonata, not only in manner but melodically, in individual passages, as well. A section of comparative repose provides Howick and Rahman with an opportunity to create effective contrast in this movement.

Cyril Scott, although he composed a number of works for violin and piano and several violin concertos, may still seem to many a pianist’s composer. These sonatas, on the other hand, so well and so expressively written for the violin, should go a long way, especially in Howick’s and Rahman’s sympathetic readings, toward making violinists take a second look at them and listeners give them at least an exploratory hearing. Warmly recommended.

 

Joseph Magil
American Record Guide, November 2010

Clare Howick and Sophia Rahman are first-rate interpreters and highly polished technicians. Excellent booklet notes as usual from Naxos.

 


Steven Ritter

 

Audiophile AuditionOctober 2010

Cyril Scott (1879-1970) was an oddball without question—poet, painter, occultist, and prolific musician, he composed over four hundred works including four symphonies, three operas and concerti for piano, violin, cello, oboe and harpsichord. For the violin he wrote about 20 pieces including four sonatas, a Sonata Lirica and Sonata Melodica (heard here). His music was admired by many, including Percy Grainger, Debussy, Strauss, and Stravinsky. Elgar admitted that many of the modern harmonies found in the works of British composers at the time had been done first by Scott.

As a result his music is defiantly hard to peg—it does not sound stereotypically “British”; in fact, echoes of Debussy and even Scriabin, whose life fits Scott’s the best and whose music has the same sort of mystical quality to it, dominate in a non-obtrusive way. This music is no copycat of those two composers but the elements of each are so omnipresent that it is impossible to miss.

The first Violin Sonata (1908) is rhapsodic and grand in nature, yet one gets the feeling that the last movement is the beginning of another set of thoughts instead of the conclusion to ones already past. But even so the work is so engaging from bar to bar that it becomes an extraordinary enigma as to why it s not played more frequently. The same is said for the Third Sonata—though composed almost 50 years later it has an offbeat insouciance to it that paradoxically draws one deeply into the music.

Don’t let the title of the Sonata Melodica throw you off; this piece is every bit the bona fide sonata like the canonical four, and even its admittedly quirky melodic elements prove to be the glue that sticks with the unassuming listener.

Each of these works has much to commend them, and there seems to be a Scott revival underway at present, with the orchestral music appearing regularly on Chandos. It’s nice to see Naxos getting in on the action, especially when they are offering such gratifyingly engrossing performances as the ones we find here by young Clare Howick and partner Sophia Rahman, who have obviously discovered the secret to Scott’s success, rapturously captured at the Coombehurst Studio at Kingston University in the UK. Recommended!


SPECIALLY COMMENDED                                 

Albion Magazine, Autumn 2010. 

 Cyril Scott was a composer of great melodic gifts, but he also had an ear for unusual harmonies. His music is always extraordinary, different and exciting. The first work on this disc is the Violin Sonata No 1, which was composed in 1908 and premiered at the Bechstein (now Wigmore) Hall that same year. It is a rhapsodic work, with a witty, sparkling and lively third movement. The ensuing Sonata Melodica was written in 1950 and is another romantic and lyrical piece. The disc closes with the Sonata No 3 (dating from 1955), an innovative but slightly darker work. The three sonatas are all superbly played by Clare Howick, accompanied by Sophia Rahman. Howick has a beautifully rich, dark tone which suits these pieces, and both performers capture the idiom extremely well. These are gorgeous works, well played.


John France
British Classical Music: The Land of Lost Content, October 2010

...the three Sonatas presented in this CD are all important contributions to the genre.

The First Sonata was composed in 1908 and was premiered in March of that year. It was dedicated to the composer Ethel Barns. This is a large four movement work that lasts for nearly half an hour. At the time of its performance it was regarded as extremely advanced and technically challenging. It is full of big themes that are marshalled with skill and power. Typically the shifting harmonies used in this work are gorgeous—some reviewers have suggested that parts of this work are ‘Delian’ in their mood.

The first movement is tightly controlled, in spite of often being rhapsodic in mood. The music is not written in a formal sonata-form as there is no recapitulation of the two main themes. In fact, after the development section the music moves immediately to a powerful and imposing coda.

The ‘andante mistico’ is exactly that: it is deliberately unfocused music that creates an impressionistic mood that captures the imagination in spite of the fact that it reminds the listener of a number of composers including Ravel, Ireland and Delius. Yet this is beautiful music that remains in the mind long after the work has concluded.

Eaglefield Hull has noted that the third movement, which is really the ‘scherzo’, has been likened to the ‘playfulness of monkeys in a tropical forest.’ It is not a metaphor that strikes me as being pertinent, save that it does highlight the total contrast between this music and the preceding ‘exotic melancholy’ of the second movement. However, monkeys or not, the ‘allegro molto scherzando’ is exhilarating and balances fine violin playing with piano writing that includes glissandi and spread chords. There is a reflective middle section that nods back to the previous movement; however this does not last long, before the exuberance returns and brings this short scherzo to a rollicking end.

The final movement is similar to the first in that it is composed in a modified sonata form: it has two contrasting themes and once again dispenses with a formal recapitulation. These subjects are developed with care and skill, providing music that never loses interest.

This Sonata is deeply felt and blends feelings of highly charged emotion with a sense of resignation. Somehow Cyril Scott has, in this Sonata managed to square that particular circle.

The second piece is subtitled Sonata Melodica. This three movement work was composed in 1950 and was first performed at the Music Teachers Association Concert in London the following year. The conventional wisdom appears to be that this is, by definition more relaxed than many of Scott’s chamber works. However, I have listened to it twice and I do not really feel that it is particularly less intense or involved than other works of this period. In fact, the melodic and harmonic resources used are both complex and at times aggressive. Yet, there are moments when a filigree of magic takes to the air. Certainly, the first movement, which is nearly as long as the second and third combined, manages to present a huge contrast in emotional resources. On face value the ‘adagio ma non troppo’ would seem to be reflective and ‘pensive’ but even here there are attempts to destroy the mood by the use of forceful piano chords that dispel the enchantment. However the serenity finally triumphs and brings the movement to a quiet close. This mood of tranquillity is shattered by the dynamic ‘allegro vigoroso’ that balances a well-crafted toccata-like melodic line with something a lot wilder and perhaps improvisatory. The conclusion of this movement and of the work is positive, but somewhat disturbing. The calm of the last bars of the adagio are not reiterated.

The latest piece on this CD is the Third Violin Sonata, written in 1955 when the composer was 76 years old. It certainly cannot be seen as the work of an elderly man at the end of his composing career. In fact Scott was to live and compose until he was nearly ninety years old.

From the opening unaccompanied violin statement this work unfolds its argument in a lyrical, but much more astringent manner than the previous two sonatas. The programme notes suggest that in spite of the first movement being signed ‘tranquillo’ the music gains a darker colouring and ‘expressive fervour’. Here and there pastoral phrases ease the tension but never entirely dissipate the concentration of the argument. The intensity is relaxed a little as the violin recollects earlier material, before bringing the movement to an ‘impassioned’ close.

The second movement, a ‘pastorale: andante amabile’ is described as ranking ‘amongst the most lilting and unaffected in all Scott’s chamber output.’ Certainly, this music is in total contrast to the previous movement. However, the musical material is not in any way ‘typically’ pastoral: this is not a sunny landscape in the Home Counties, but something just a little bleaker. In fact, this is deeply introspective music that haunts the listener.

The final Rondo Capriccioso is in complete contrast, yet this is not a jolly rondo that casts care to the winds. It is an intense piece that balances a vigorous tune with a ‘secondary theme [that] brings a measure of calm’ but never manages to raise the largely dark tones of this movement and work.

All the music on this CD is played with conviction and sympathy. To my knowledge, there are no other recordings of these three Sonatas available for comparison; however my impression is that these works are given an absolutely ideal performance.

The sleeve-notes are well written by Richard Whitehouse and provide sufficient information for listeners to appreciate the music. Apart from a few pages about the First Sonata by A. Eaglefield Hull in his 1918 study of the composer, there is virtually nothing written about these works: there is a need for a major study of the music of Cyril Scott. When this book is eventually written it will be discovered that Scott’s music developed in a very subtle but quite definite manner over the years of his composing life. There is also a tension between his art music and his more commercial pieces: there is a huge difference between the potboilers such as Rainbow Trout, Lotusland and the Irish Reel and the slow movement of the Third Violin Sonata. However, great as the differences may be, they are clearly by the same composer.

Finally, these three Sonatas are all important and rewarding pieces that deserve to be in the repertoire. I have a personal preference for the ‘capricious and ruminative’ First Sonata; however, the other later works are both absorbing and demanding. The Second is a little more ‘relaxed’ in mood whilst the last is ‘one of most inventive works from Scott’s later years’.


Julian HaylockThe Strad, September 2010

Often referred to as the 'English Debussy; Cyril Scott was (unusually for a British composer) a master of liquid piano sonorities. His music's chromatically intensified exoticism is reminiscent at times of Scriabin, but without the attendant hysteria, and if occasionally there is (as in his most famous piece, Lotus Land) a tendency to cloak his invention in Lisztian splashes of colour, his technical mastery is beyond question. Clare Howick and Sophia Rahman already proved their credentials as formidable exponents of this repertoire on a fine Dutton release a couple of years back, and they are no less persuasive in the works here, bringing an exultant quality to phrases that in less sensitive hands could easily pall. Howick possesses the rare ability of creating a sense of compelling forward momentum in music whose harmonic malleability can feel meandering. This pays special dividends in the Third Sonata, composed in 1955 when Scott was a sprightly 76 (he lived another 15 years). The composer is very specific in his directions - tranquillo, amabile, capriccioso, and so on - and Howick responds with playing of beguiling warmth and affection, tracing the almost whimsical changeability of Scott's invention with complete assurance. A little more bloom to the sound would have put the icing on a most delectable musical cake.


BRITISH WOMEN COMPOSERS

EDITOR'S CHOICE 

Classical Music Magazine

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 

MusicWeb International

Gary Higginson
MusicWeb International, April 2011

An ex-pupil now a professional violist said, on seeing this CD on my stereo, “That’s a brave disc!”. In some ways it is; it is also very refreshing. I used to instil—or at least attempt to—in my pupils when I taught at girls’ schools that if they didn’t play music by women then who would? Well, Clare Howick and Sophia Rahman along with the ever-enterprising Naxos are doing just that. This disc is a fine testimony to their efforts following on from their successful foray into Cyril Scott on Naxos 8.572290.

The first work and the longest is by that doyen of feminism in music Dame Ethel Smyth. But forgetting her sex is this A minor Sonata any good? I must admit to knowing it already through a version by Nicoline Kraamwinkel and Julian Rolton—members of the Chagall Trio on Meridian CDE84286 (with Smyth’s Piano Trio in D minor and Cello Sonata in A minor, Op. 5). This new version is more than its equal although almost four minutes longer. It’s an early work and shows the influence of Brahms—particularly in the sonata-form opening Allegro. Apparently Brahms met Smyth and found her quite alarming. Also one might detect a touch of Dvořák in the Scherzo second movement. There’s some trace of Schumann in the following Romanza and sometimes Grieg. It’s in the strong, vibrant and dramatic finale that Smyth’s voice begins to emerge. Perhaps it was this movement that, according to Caroline Waight’s useful booklet essay, Joachim found ‘overwrought and far-fetched”. It is apt for such a Germanic work that it was first performed in Leipzig. In truth it’s difficult to think of another British violin sonata of the period, which is as fine as this, despite the fact that there are moments of note-spinning. I can’t help but wonder why it has hardly ever been taken up. At almost half an hour, it is, I suppose, quite a commitment for the performers and for the promoters to put on a fairly obscure sonata which will take up most of a half of a recital. Yet this recording surely proves their misgivings wrong.

No doubt you have attempted the car game ‘name six great Belgians’. Did you consider the composer Henryk Wieniawski’s daughter Irène Regina who was born in Brussels. That city saw this terrific Sonata in D minor first performed. She married one Sir Aubrey Dean Paul in 1901 which is how she comes, someone tenuously, to be called a British composer. She published under the name of ‘Poldowski’. When listening to this three movement work I at first heard Rachmaninov. Then, as it went on its passionate way, I found myself increasingly excited by the music. I started to hear, especially in the finale, traces of César Franck, not surpassingly and of Ernest Chausson. They are there to hear in the intense chromaticisms and wild and almost violent piano part. For me this work is the find of the year so far; certainly the best work on this disc. The first movement is a deliciously ‘fey’ Andante languido and the middle movement is a tripartite Scherzo with a romantic middle section. The performers stretch their sinews to make this piece to come life and succeed whole-heartedly.

I’m writing this review just a few weeks before what will be, the centenary on 6 April 2011 of the birth of Phyllis Tate. Listening to her original and fascinating Triptych I find myself wondering if I will have the chance to hear anything else by her this Spring whether from a live performance or from the BBC. There should, most certainly, be other opportunities. She was famously critical and not prolific but this work offers us mystery and a probing harmony in the first movement, a mercurial Scherzo in the second and a formally complex finale marked Soliloquy—Lento sostenuto. With the latter’s changes of mood and textures, the ear never tires and time passes quickly. This is altogether a good introduction, and is passionately played. Tate’s music is well worth searching out. Sadly she is a composer few of whose pieces are available in the catalogue.

The unpublished Three Preludes of Elizabeth Maconchy are in her fairly usual dissonant and quite uncompromisingly unromantic manner. Some listeners may be reminded of her 9th and 10th Quartets from broadly the same period. The first Prelude is marked Tempo libero senza mesura and is intense and dissonant. The second has a winding fugal subject subjected to just enough treatment. The third is marked Con allegrezza and is sinewy but full of energy. It’s a useful addition to the repertoire and contributes to our understanding of this composer.

For some reason I seem not to have come across Ethel Barns. It seems incredible really as her music was played by all of the leading figures of her day including Joachim. She and her husband set up a concert series I’d vaguely heard of, the Barnes-Phillips Chamber concerts. Her La Chasse is in the virtuoso encore category, the sort of piece very popular in its day. It is brilliantly handled and brings this very generously filled CD to a rousing conclusion.

 

Elaine Fine
American Record Guide, March 2011

I love this reading of the Smyth sonata, a piece dismissed in the 1880s by Joseph Joachim as "unnatural, far-fetched, and overwrought". Had Joachim heard this reading, he would have probably have wanted to get his hands on the music immediately. The playing is simply spectacular.

 

Robert Maxham
Fanfare, March 2011

According to Caroline Waight, Joseph Joachim declined to play (Dame) Ethel Smyth’s Violin Sonata, considering it “unnatural.” But as Clare Howick (playing a 1721 Stradivari) and Sophia Rahman prove, the work, written in the 1880s (according to the notes), far from being the thorny affair that early reviews cited in the notes suggest, offers in its first movement an imposing but ingratiating combination of thunder and repose. Howick possesses an interpretive personality equal to these expressive demands, producing a thick sound with a strong, steely core, while generating sound and fury in Smyth’s powerful surges. It may be that the early critics looked for something more—a sort of delicacy—that might, on the other hand, now make the sonata seem merely a drawing-room curiosity rather than the imaginative, strong-minded musical utterance it appears to be. Smyth constructed the brief Scherzo, akin in a way to that of Brahms’s for the FAE Sonata, from short rhythmic motives, though the middle section offers some respite; Howick’s and Rahman’s terse energy brings the movement to an effective if abrupt ending. The Romanze lasts almost as long as the opening movement (the sonata as a whole, no mere bauble, occupies almost half an hour). Listeners may note in this movement that, despite its lyricism and the playfulness of its middle section, in which Howick hardly relaxes her energetic approach, it makes the case for Smyth’s greater success in constructing dramatic plots than in spinning out ingratiating melodies. The finale blends Brahmsian autumnal feel with rhythmic vitality and, again in this commanding performance, declamatory power.

Elizabeth Maconchy’s brief Three Preludes from 1970 display a very different side of Howick’s musical personality, as she threads her way through the vigorous first movement, the reflective second, and the bustling last one—in all three of which the duo renders the spiky dissonances with sharp definition enhanced by their dynamic subtlety.

The Violin Sonata by Irène Regina Wieniawska (the daughter of the violin virtuoso Henri Wieniawski; she adopted the pseudonym of Poldowski), from the early 1910s, returns to the energy of Smyth’s sonata, but realized in darker emotional hues and in moodier, longer-breathed melodies. Howick and Rahman play the opening Andante languido with a probing suggestivity that will hardly prepare the listener for the whirlwind energy with which she tackles the ensuing Scherzo—no joke, even an Olympian one, this time. And the movement settles down into rich reflection, filtered through Howick’s particularly ingratiating tonal suavity. As if the movements had not exhibited sufficient ferocity, Wieniawska marked the finale (the longest of the three movements) Presto con fuoco, suggesting a manner of expression clearly congenial to the duo. But that movement, as well, also projects the opening one’s languid opulence after the tempestuous beginning. Howick’s thick, rich tone in these sections suggests Oistrakh-like butterfat.

Phyllis Tate’s Triptych, from 1954, consists of three movements: a Prelude, a Scherzo, and a Soliloquy, all in a sort of extended tonality that stretches to accommodate spiky dissonances within its bounds—and in the first movement certainly exhibits, in the duo’s energetic yet suggestive performance, a great deal of fresh energy. Howick and Rahman play the Scherzo’s fragments with the aggressiveness and panache of two flamboyant knife-throwers. The dissonant cantabile piano solo that opens the Soliloquy introduces a sort of in-kind commentary by the violin, in which Howick expresses herself in the upper registers with perhaps the most attractive tonal purity she achieves in the entire program. In this movement, the harmonies seem to meander farther from their moorings, though the textures and rhythmic structure of the melodies sound comparatively conventional. Her reading of the movement’s ending blends delicacy, sensitivity, and yearning. Coming almost as an encore at the end of the program, Ethel Barns’s miniature, La Chasse, allows Howick a moment of unabashed virtuosity in a genre popular in the 18th century, imitated in the 20th by Fritz Kreisler, but no more ably than by Barns (no one will need to read the notes to discover that Barns herself played the instrument well).

Since there’s no longer any reason to suppose that works written by women would be in any significant way different from those written by men, these will hardly (any longer) flout established expectations. Recommended most strongly to collectors of this nevertheless still specialized repertoire and to those who have come to admire Howick’s championship, ardent and insightful, of British composers in general.

 

Bob Briggs
MusicWeb International, December 2010

An enterprising issue of music less often heard, but qualified by the title Women composers. I have said it before and I shall say it again, why do we have to advertise this point? Elizabeth Lutyens was once at a reception for the announcement of the forthcoming year’s Proms season and someone mentioned that two (or however many) works being played that year were by women composers. Lutyens, and if you knew Liz this will come as no surprise to you, said, in a loud voice, “yes, and (here she quoted a number) are by homosexual composers, you won’t mention that!” Of course she is right. What does it matter what the sex, or sexual orientation, of the composer is? And what’s more, if you were to listen to these fine pieces you’d never know the sex of the composer. So, ultimately, what does it matter?

Take Maconchy’s Three Preludes. Here is strong, argumentative music, finely wrought, purposeful in intent, and with a stark beauty. Maconchy is known for her Quartets and her string writing is the best of her. This piece, alone, is worth the price of the disk. Ethel Smyth’s Sonata is a big-boned, early, work, Brahmsian, to be sure, but with an emerging individual voice. Whilst this work doesn’t have the character, or the drive, of the Concerto for Horn and Violin, it cannot be ignored, for there is much to be admired here.

Irène Regina Wieniawska was the daughter of the great virtuoso Wieniawski and she published her work under the name Poldowski. On marrying Sir Aubrey Dean Paul she became Lady Irène Dean Paul and a British national, hence her inclusion here. Her Violin Sonata is a piece of romantic writing, not as strong as the Smyth but with sturdy tunes and a solid grasp of form. 

If you only know Phyllis Tate’s music from the Suite – London Fields or the Sonata for clarinet and cello, this Triptych will come as a shock. On first hearing, it appears to be quite austere, but as one gets to know it the music reveals its secrets. 

Ethel Barns’ La Chasse is a marvellous piece of whimsy with which to end a stimulating and enjoyable recital. This is a most worthwhile disk, containing music which should be heard. These works are nicely juxtaposed, in very fine performances that evince total commitment. The sound is excellent and the notes good. This isn’t just for those of us who are passionate about British music, it’s for everyone interested in good music.

 

RC
Yorkshire Post, November 2010

How many women composers can you name? A dozen? This release from Naxos features chamber music from some of the few of the 20th century: Ethyl Smyth, Elizabeth Maconchy, Irene Poldowski, Phyllis Tate and Ethel Barns. It’s a minor corrective to the staggering inequality between male and female composers but a welcome one. There’s much to admire in the strongly wrought sonatas by Smythe and Poldowski. But the pick is Tate’s glorious Triptych of 1954. Superb performances by Clare Howick, violin and Sophia Rahman, piano.

 

David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2010

Though the British music establishment paid lip-service to the cause of women composers, only a few are allowed to surface into national recognition. That Ethyl Smyth became one of that select group came as much from her militancy in the suffragette movement as from the ready acceptance of her music. Educated in Germany, she gained grudging acceptance for her opera, The Wreckers, which was a benchmark for a new generation of English opera. By contrast the Violin Sonata of 1887 is an emotionally charged flowering of the Romantic era in the Germanic tradition. From technical aspects it is a well constructed four movement score, the two instruments having passages of prominence. Irene Wieniawska dated from the next generation. Born in Belgium, the daughter of the famous violinist and composer, Henryk Wieniawski, she married into British aristocracy and settled in the UK, composing under the name Poldowski. The perfectly balanced three-movement sonata of 1912 is a lovely work, falling easily on the ear, and also uses both instruments in equal measure. Into the 20th century, where Elizabeth Maconchy captured the attention of an establishment besotted with everything linked to the Second Viennese School: she obliged with progressive sounds, the Three Preludes—short pieces dating from 1970—having a degree of peppery harmonies. Born four years later, Phyllis Tate, was a self-deprecating composer who destroyed much of her music. Tryptych, from 1954, is in three contrasting movements, though only the final Soliloquy is of substantial length. A tonal score of its time, one would hope it may be a long-term survivor. Ethyl Barns, a brilliant young violinist, was born in 1874. The sparkling and brief, La Chasse, published in 1928 being an ‘encore’ worthy of Sarasate. Clare Howick and Sophia Rahman are very sympathetic and stylish advocates.