HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983): Cello Concerto (second movement orch. Christopher Palmer [1946-1995], third movement compl. and orch. Jonathan Clinch [b.1984]), 2 Pieces for Small Orchestra, Op. 20, RONALD CORP (b.1951): Cello Concerto.
Catalogue Number: 03Q010
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7317
Description: You know how Hymnus Paradisi was written as a release from the grief and turbulent emotions engendered by the death of Howells' nine-year-old son from polio in 1935? Well, the cello concerto was the other of two of what the composer called his private "medical documents". Begun in 1933, he completed the first movement in 1937 and submitted it as part of his doctorate at Queen's College, Oxford under the generic title Fantasy. The second had been completed the year before but never orchestrated and the finale sketched but not completed. The notes will tell you more about the process of finishing it for this recording but the important thing is that we have a 36-minute concerto whose chief influence is Vaughan Williams with which it shares modal harmony among other things and whose soloist plainly stands in for Howells himself in a soliloquy of grief, anger and the other mixed emotions of mourning. Corp's lighter, shorter and melodically attractive concerto was written as a counterweight to the Howells after knowing he was going to record the latter. Alice Neary (cello), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Ronald Corp.