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Kitchin, Horsley & Crowson (piano)

Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989)
Piano Sonata in A Major Op.20 (1945)
Six Preludes Op.23 (1944)
Scherzo in D Major Op. 32 No. 2 (1949)
Impromptu in G Minor Op. 7 No. 1
Concert Study in E-flat Op.48 No. 2 (1955)
Four Concert Studies Op. 14 (1940)

Colin Horsley (piano)

Arthur BENJAMIN (1893 -1960)
Pastorale, Arioso and Finale (1943)
Scherzino (1936)
Etudes Improvisées
Siciliana (1936)

Lamar Crowson (piano)

Lyrita REAM 2109

Michael TIPPETT (1905 -1998)
Piano Sonata No. 1 (1937 rev.1954)
Iain HAMILTON (1922 -2000)
Piano Sonata Op. 13 (1951)

CD 2
William WORDSWORTH (1908 -1988)
Piano Sonata in D Minor Op. 13 (1939)
Cheesecombe Suite Op. 27 (1945)
Ballade Op. 41 (1949)

Margaret Kitchin (piano)

Lyrita REAM 2106


These historic recordings of British piano music have been reissued shortly after Margaret Kitchin's recent death (see Independent Obituary).

Good value at two-for-price-of-one they will bring back memories of London's musical life some fifty years ago. Kitchin's discs were some of Lyrita's earliest, and she was a doughty champion of the new repertoire of those times. The Tippett has long been superceded by later recordings and, truth to tell, she makes rather heavy weather of it. To my taste, neither Hamilton's nor Wordsworth's long neglected works make strong cases for their revivals, but afficionados of this music will not be deterred.

The Berkeley & Benjamin discs gave me far more pleasure and that twofer is recommendable. Horsley, much associated with Berkeley, is of a romantic bent; Crowson, one of my favourite pianists when he was prominent on the BBC 3rd Programme, has a crisper, mre sparingly pedalled style. They make a good contrast, both with signal virtues that the younger tyros of the keyboard often miss. Berkeley's piano music is "refined and Gallic, befitting an ex-pupil of Nadia Boulanger" (Paul Conway). Benjamin's has charm and arresting turns of phrase, with sometimes elusive harmonies (Herbert Howells) and his disc has pleasing surprises to offer.

The recordings as refurbished sound fine;

Peter Grahame Woolf