HUMPHREY PROCTER-GREGG (1895-1980): Chamber Music, Vol. 1 - Violin Sonatas No. 1 in A Minor, No. 2 in C and No. 4 in D.
Catalogue Number: 10V044
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0539
Description: Procter-Gregg was a highly regarded administrator, professor, writer and expert on opera, a pupil of Stanford and friend of Beecham. He composed throughout his career, and although his academic and organizational activities overshadowed his composition he enjoyed some recognition and performances during his lifetime. His idiom is conservative, Romantic and tonal, though not without some individuality. The violin sonatas are three-movement works composed over some three decades. The First, from the 1930s (he had a habit of not dating his manuscripts, so the dates are all a bit vague) is the most conventional. Traces of Delius (whom Procter-Gregg admired), Ireland, early Bridge, and his teacher Stanford are evident, as is some French influence - Debussy, Ravel and Fauré. The first movement is in ingeniously worked sonata form, the second is songlike, and the finale, Allegro brioso, is prefaced by an unexpectedly bravura piano introduction. The Second is more adventurous in form, its sonata form first movement containing some delightful harmonic surprises; the middle movement is a fleet, lightweight scherzo, and the last is the most extensive and far-ranging, formally complex movement in any of the sonatas. The Fourth was written in 1969, during Procter-Gregg's retirement years in his beloved Lake District in the north of England. This is in some ways the most technically sophisticated of all, with ingenious extension of sonata form in the opening movement and skilled contrapuntal writing - and bravura double-stopping, hitherto rare - in the finale. Andrew Long (violin), Ian Buckle (piano).