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William Bruce (cello) with Thalia Myers (piano)

Beamish, Sally Still Life
Bryars, Gavin With Miriam by the River
Causton, Richard Lunar
Cole, Jonathan Elegy
Dove, Jonathan Prayer-wheel
Firsova, Alissa The Stonebreaker
Flood, Philip Friday to Sunday
Hesketh, Kenneth Cantilena
LeFanu, Nicola Prelude
Martland, Steve Sarabande
Metcalf, Jonathan Continuous Study
Samuel, Rhian Tin Soldier
Saunders, Rebecca Song
Swayne, Giles Canzonetta
Tann, Hilary Lullaby
Vir, Param Angel Blue

The Associated Board (ABRSM) is forging ahead with their ground breaking Spectrum series, initiated by Thalia Myers. The latest volume moves away from the piano and addresses the needs of young and old cellists, with an exploration of the sound worlds of 16 composers born or resident in UK, in miniature pieces of a minute and a half or so. They are intended to appeal to amateurs and professionals, and are arranged progressively to cover Grade 1 to Grade 8.

William Bruce has compiled the book and plays them on the included CD with Thalia Myers, a pleasant half hour's listening quite apart from its pedagogical value.

Not a string player, I cannot say how they will appeal to, and challenge, cellists who are likely to be unused to contemporary idioms and notation; some of them look quite difficult and may well find places as brief encore items. As a good amateur pianist I followed the music with pleasure and would relish the opportunity to sort out the tricky rhythms and work through some of the pieces with a cellist.

The presentation is of the high standard set in this series and there is no reason why it should not run and run!

•Spectrum 1 & 2

Spectrum 3


© Peter Grahame Woolf