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Herbert Howells Music for Clavichord (PFCD065/66) 2 CDs £15/£20

Performed on clavichord by Julian Perkins


"...pieces that test the virtuosity of the performer, a challenge easily accepted by the stylish Julian Perkins." Stephen Pritchard, Guardian
"Unexpectedly delicious: an enchanting pair of discs, nicely annotated." Graham Rickson, theartsdesk
"Julian Perkins brings vibrancy and colour to his performance" The Cross-Eyed Pianist
"They [of Lambert's Clavichord] are so fascinating and so varied that the only problem is that there are not more of them... I never thought a double CD set of clavichord music by one composer would excite me as much as this has, but it has and I am very grateful." Paul Jackson, British Music Society Newsletter, November 2017.
"... a happy love triangle between composer, performer and the instruements played... Highly recommended for both clavichord aficiandos as well as the uninitiated!" Gavin Roberts, Finzi Journal
"Perkins' interpretations fit the instrument very nicely indeed." Musical Opinion
"Julian Perkins playing is exemplary. It is subtle, often exciting, nuanced and perfectly balanced. Andrew Mayes has provided a detailed, dissertation-length study and analysis of these three ‘albums’. [...] It is essential that the recorded repertoire supports such a splendid version as this for clavichord." MusicWeb International
"Perkins tackles the 32 miniatures with panache and empathy to spare. What fulsome tones he draws out of the Pavane named for Vaughan Williams; an invigorating tally-ho spurs on ‘Berkley’s Hunt’; and a wry nod to William Walton in Coronation best bib and tucker rounds things off with an abracadabra of a celebratory flourish." BBC Music Magazine, February 2018

'Herbert Howells Music for Clavichord' (PFCD065/66), performed on clavichord by Julian Perkins, contains on two CDs all Howells’s published music for clavichord: 'Lambert’s Clavichord Op. 41' (HH 165) and 'Howells’ Clavichord' (HH 237) Books I and II.

This is the first complete recording on clavichord of this music. Lambert's Clavichord and a selection of eight pieces from Howells’ Clavichord were recorded on clavichord by Ruth Dyson (1917-1997) and released on an LP in 1981. This new recording is dedicated to her memory in her centenary year.

Writing about the music of Lambert’s Clavichord in 1928, Sir Richard Terry observed: “Mr Howells has absorbed all the wealth and variety of Tudor rhythms, but keeps his own individuality intact. His music is modern inasmuch as he uses chords and progressions unknown in Tudor times, but the spirit of the old composers is there all the while. In other words, he and his instruments are one.”

Lambert’s Clavichord Op. 41 (HH 165):
‘Lambert’s Fireside’
‘Fellowes’ Delight’
‘Hughes’ Ballet’
‘Wortham’s Grounde’
‘Sargent’s Fantastic Sprite’
‘Foss’s Dump’
‘My Lord Sandwich’s Dreame’
‘Samuel’s Air’
‘De la Mare’s Pavane’
‘Sir Hugh’s Galliard’
‘H.H. His Fancy’
‘Sir Richard’s Toye’

Howells’ Clavichord Book I (HH 237):
‘Goff’s Fireside’(for Thomas Goff)
‘Patrick’s Siciliano’ (for Patrck Hadley)
‘Jacob’s Brawl’ (for Gordon Jacob)
‘Dart’s Saraband’ (for Thurston Dart)
‘Arnold’s Antic’ (for Malcolm Arnold)
‘Andrews ’Air’ (for H.K. Andrews)
‘Boult’s Brangill’ (for Sir Adrian Boult)
‘Rubbra’s Soliloquy’ (for Edmund Rubbra)
‘Newman’s Flight’ (for Max Newman F.R.S.)
‘Dyson’s Delight’ (for Sir George Dyson)

Howells’ Clavichord Book II:
'E. B.’s Fanfarando’ (for Sir Ernest Bullock)
'Ralph’s Pavane’ (for Ralph Vaughan Williams)
'Ralph’s Galliard’ (for Ralph Vaughan Williams)
'Finzi’s Rest’ (for Gerald on the morrow of 26th September, 1956)
‘Berkeley’s Hunt’ (for Lennox Berkeley)
‘Malcolm’s Vision’ (for George Malcolm)
‘Bliss’s Ballet’ (for Sir Arthur Bliss)
‘Julian’s Dream’ (for Julian Bream)
‘Jacques’s Mask’ (for Reginald Jacques)
‘Walton’s Toye’ (for Sir William Walton)

Herbert Howells

A favourite pupil of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Herbert Howells (1892-1983) studied at the Royal College of Music in London. The compositions of his early maturity received much critical acclaim, but a hostile reception of his second piano in 1925 led to a period of uncertainty and relative compositional inactivity. The composing of Lambert’s Clavichord in 1926/27 proved to be a restorative influence. After WW1, with the exception of the symphony and opera, he continued to compose in most musical forms, contributing especially significantly to church music. In 1979 he retired from the teaching staff of the Royal College of Music in London after fifty-nine years. He was also in constant demand as a highly discerning and constructive adjudicator.

Julian Perkins

Julian Perkins
Described as ‘exuberantly stylish’ by the Sunday Times, Julian Perkins enjoys a demanding career as a keyboard player and conductor. He is the Artistic Director of Cambridge Handel Opera and Founder Director of Sounds Baroque. His acclaimed discography includes J. S. Bach’s French Suites on clavichord and the world première of Stephen Dodgson’s clavichord suites. Julian read music at King’s College, Cambridge, before pursuing advanced studies at the Schola Cantorum, Basle and the Royal Academy of Music, London.