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Dale: Piano Sonata in D minor Op.1
Hurlstone: Piano Sonata in F minor

Mark Bebbington (piano)

Somm - SOMM097

Two early 20C English piano sonatas. Benjamin Dale's caught and held our attention as something ambitious and original.

It spans three-quarters of an hour without feeling discursive, the form subsumed in a series of Variations which span the slow movement, scherzo and finale, the original theme returning at the end. The first movement is of Germanic influence, but not without others, and it is an amazingly confident work for a RAM student.

It had its popularity, but has reverted into becoming rarity; look out for a performance. If it turns up in a Bebbington recital, you have a treat in waiting.

I found William Hurlstone's RCM student piece (he was 18) worth a hearing, but would not come back to it.

Peter Grahame Woolf