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Strength and Lyricism

Chamber music
by Hugh Wood -
heard by

'... taut stamina.'

Hugh Wood: Chamber Music. © 2009 Toccata Classics

Hugh Wood's music brings together a sure craftsmanship, a real feeling for lyricism and a passionate yet somehow restrained personality particularly evident in his fine inventory of chamber music, at its best when the later Viennese masters are not breathing too heavily on him.

This group of chamber works extends from Op 1, a set of variations for viola and piano written in 1958, controlled and carefully measured, to an Overture for Piano Trio completed in May 2005 in which the beautifully woven lines set themselves free of academic theory to glide along within an atmosphere of joy. There is a similar climbing contour that rises (appropriately) from its bed of harmony in the Paraphrase on 'Bird of Paradise' for clarinet and piano, a piece drawn from his earlier settings of a poem by Robert Graves.There is some relief to the pressure in the relatively short finale, a capricious and fascinating scherzo. The composer succeeded in making it exactly as he wished it to be -- one long lyrical line...

Copyright © 2 August 2010 Patric Standford,
Wakefield, UK





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