Robin Milford: Chamber Music

Catalogue No: TOCC0244
EAN/UPC: 5060113442444
Release Date: 2014-10-06
Composer: Robin Milford
Artists: Alice Neary, Benjamin Frith, David Adams, Gould Piano Trio, Lucy Gould, Mia Cooper, Robert Plane

The revival of interest in the music of Robin Milford (1903-59) has largely bypassed his exquisite chamber music, an omission this recording seeks to redress. It presents some of his most attractive compositions for chamber forces, showing his very personal — and very English — combination of melodic freshness, elegiac lyricism and echoes of folksong.

Robert Plane, clarinet
Lucy Gould, violin
Mia Cooper, violin
David Adams, viola
Alice Neary, cello
Benjamin Frith, piano
Gould Piano Trio, piano trio

Listen To This Recording:

  1. Phantasy Quintet, Op. 33, for clarinet and string quartet (1933): Adagio di Molto
  2. Idyll: Under the Greenwood Tree, Op. 57, for violin and piano (1941): Con moto
  3. Trio in F major, Op. 87, for clarinet, cello and piano (1948)

  4. I Allegro moderato
  5. II Adagietto affettuoso
  6. III Scherzo: Vivo brillante
  7. Threne, Op. 81, for cello and piano (1946–47): Lento solenne
  8. Lyrical Movement for clarinet and piano, Op. 89 (1948): Allegretto
  9. Prelude for violin, cello and piano, Op. 92 (c. 1948): Andante
  10. Sonata in D major, Op. 77, for violin and piano (1945)

  11. I Moderato (quasi Andante)
  12. II Romanza (Poco lento)
  13. III Tempo di Minuetto
  14. IV Vivace

3 reviews for Robin Milford: Chamber Music

  1. :

    ‘…A long time later, the present revival of interest in his music has, until now, largely overlooked his quite charming chamber music, so this new release on Toccata Classics – champion of so many musical under-dogs – is a most welcome addition to the catalogue, especially since this particular genre embraces some of his finest pieces. …Whether or not you are already acquainted with the works of Robin Milford, have a particular penchant for English music, or just a fascination for the less-familiar, this superb CD offers over an hour of sheer enjoyment and distraction from the woes of today’s world. It is something that you will surely return to, again and again, and is bound to prompt you to investigate more of Milford’s output. With outstanding performances throughout, excellent recording and presentation, this is one of the best recent CDs of its kind.’

    —Philip R Buttall, MusicWeb International

  2. :

    ‘…In his single-movement Phantasy Quintet (1933), Milford combines elements of period dance music with his love of folk-like melody. It is as lyrically expressive as anything his teacher Vaughan Williams ever wrote, with touches of humor, excellent contrast, and a masterly hand at organization. Another highlight on this album is the Trio (1948) for the unusual combination of clarinet, cello, and piano. It is quixotic and personal, an excellent example of his ability to create and extend slender, unpromising motifs into new, distinctive musical terrain. It also readily demonstrates his gift for showing each instrument off to excellent advantage. The vernal Lyrical Movement, smiling and energetic in the triumph of spring, gives way to the prelude, where Milford’s deft ensemble writing and sure hand in structure vie for a listener’s attention with his expressive genius. By way of contrast, the sonata from 1945 shows how adept the composer was at fitting his ideas and manner into more traditional forms. If there’s less of Milford’s unadulterated musical personality here, it is still a testament to his craft. In matters of performance, the composer couldn’t have asked for a more sympathetic understanding of both the specifics of his musical style and his expressive range. I would especially single out violinist Lucy Gould’s caressingly warm playing in Idyll: Under the Greenwood Tree and her variety and rhapsodic tone in the sonata’s slow movement.’

    —Barry Brenesal, Fanfare Magazine

  3. :

    This disc is simply incredible, absolutely lovely music from a unknown (to me!) composer. Everything about this CD is superb, from the musicians to the recording. It’s a real joy for any chamber music lover and yet another treat from Toccata Classics. Thank you for bringing to the spotlight this wonderful compositions.

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