Frederick Septimus Kelly: Chamber Music

Catalogue No: TOCC0702
EAN/UPC: 5060113447029
Release Date: 2023-09-01
Composer: Frederick Septimus Kelly
Artists: David Wickham, Laurence Jackson, Michael Waye, The West Australian Piano Trio

Frederick Septimus Kelly, born in Sydney in 1881, was on the way to becoming one of Australia’s most important early composers when he was killed during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The three works recorded here – for the first time – underline just how grievous was that loss, not only for Australia but for the musical world more generally. Kelly’s D minor Violin Sonata is an astonishingly assured work for a twenty-year-old student composer; his Serenade for flute and piano exudes good-natured charm; and the two surviving movements of his Piano Trio – which have a Brahmsian intensity – suggest that he would have been one of the major composers of the twentieth century.

Laurence Jackson, piano
Michael Waye, flute
David Wickham, piano
The West Australian Piano Trio

Listen To This Recording:

Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor (1901) (26:06)

  1. I. Adagio – Allegro vivace (10:33)
  2. II. Andantino (5:17)
  3. III. Allegro vivace (10:16)

Serenade for Flute and Piano, Op. 7 (1911) (22:18)

  1. I. Prelude (3:16)
  2. II. Idyll (7:13)
  3. III. Minuet (2:11)
  4. IV. Air and Variations (6:24)
  5. V. Jig (3:14)

Piano Trio (c. 1905?) (17:21)

  1. I. Lento (moderato) (12:27)
  2. II. Scherzo and Trio (Presto) (4:54)

First Recordings

3 reviews for Frederick Septimus Kelly: Chamber Music

  1. :

    ‘The 1905 piano trio hints at what Kelly might have achieved had he survived the war. It’s a big work, with each instrument showcased in turn. The expansive phrases have a lush, Romantic sound. But at the same time, I could hear Kelly pushing the boundaries. The West Australian Piano Trio gives this work a great performance. […]

    The liner notes hint that Toccata Classics may release at least a second volume of Kelly’s music. I hope they do.’

    —Ralph Graves, Charlottesville Classical

  2. :

    ‘Even if not the first, Kelly’s Violin Sonata No 1 may have been the most significant of the genre by an Australian at that time. […]

    No matter. The Piano Trio torso is a fine work. It presages a composer who could well have made a significant mark on early twentieth-century music. It is wonderfully performed, as are the other pieces on this disc. The musicians appear to be incredibly committed musicians and to really believe in this music. David Wickham should especially take a bow. He has prepared the editions and scores for this recording. But let us face it: the music points to potential. Except for a few sections in each work, it lacks a memorably strong individuality. Even so, one hopes for more music like this in future projects.’

    —Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International

  3. :

    ‘Kelly’s Violin Sonata No. 1 is a work of real beauty and energy, a surprisingly accomplished piece for a 20-year-old student […]

    By rights [Serenade for Flute and Piano] should be a welcome addition to the flute repertoire. The music is delicate, charming, and lyrical; it concludes with a lively jig that recalls Purcell. […]

    The performances are uniformly excellent. […] [Laurence Jackson] playing is more than serviceable. Flutist Michael Waye produces a warm sound and sparkling technique. The West Australian Piano Trio is very moving in the Piano Trio. Their pianist, David Wickham, is the one performer common to all three works; I’ve already cited his very informative program notes, which are based on an extensive study of Kelly.
    For any collector with an interest in going beyond the standard repertoire in Romantic chamber music, this release is enthusiastically recommended.’

    —Henry Fogel, Fanfare Magazine, Jan/Feb 2024

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