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RUBBRA String Quartets

String Quartet No. 2 / Amoretti / Ave Maria Gratia Plena / Piano Trio in 1 Movement

C. Daniels, M. Roscoe, Maggini String Quartet

Naxos 8.572286

Edmud Rubbra (1901-1986) is one of the most distinctive and serious British composers of his time, his personal voice always evident.

The piano trio and string quartet here are good, strong examples of his always thoughtful music and are given dedicated and searching new performances, recorded in January 2009 at Potton Hall.

Charles Daniels has a distinctive tenor voice and gives committed accounts of the Spencer Sonnets (1935) and the two Marian songs, dating from 1922 & 1951 respectively.

A worthy release, possibly unremittingly serious for some tastes, but the main works are certainly worth having.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Also recommended RUBBRA Chamber Music from the Endymion Ensemble. PGW

String Quartets Volume 2

String Quartets Nos.1 in F minor op.35, 3 op.112 & 4 op.150
The Maggini Quartet

Naxos: 8572555 [2009]

Another fine collection of Rubbra's chamber music at its best, with examples from the 1930s to the '70s. The Maggini Quartet, led by Laurence Jackson 1994 to 2006, has been through some front desk personnel changes; when these three quartets were recorded the leader (now Suzanne Stanzeleit) was Gina McCormac.

Robert Simpson (whose Exploratory Concert Society, founded in 1947 with Harold Truscott, I used to support) wrote to Rubbra's widow, in his usual trenchant fashion:- - those fools will suddenly tumble to the fact that he was one of the greatest English composers of any period". Yes !

This excellent disc, almost indecently cheap, demonstrates X 3 the truth of that, and is recommended urgently to anyone whose record collections have passed Edmund Rubbra by; the rest will need no persuasion to acquire it.


See also Guardian review