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HOWELLS: Rhapsodic Quintet / Violin Sonata No. 3

Composer(s):Howells, Herbert
Artist(s) Mobius, Ensemble
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.557188
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

Although Herbert Howells is known chiefly for his large body of church music, arguably the finest by any English composer of the twentieth century, he also wrote major choral, orchestral and chamber works. At the outset of his career Howells came to prominence largely through a series of striking chamber compositions including the Rhapsodic Quintet of 1919, which he described as having ‘a mystic quality’. Dedicated to one of the great violinists of the time, Albert Sammons, the Third Violin Sonata arose directly from Howells’s visit to Canada four years later. The overwhelming impact that the Rocky Mountains made on the composer when he travelled through them by train is reflected in the more dissonant and chromatic harmony compared with his other



Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Howells’s Rhapsodic Quintet for clarinet and string quartet is one of the most beautiful clarinet works of the 20th century. Robert Plane, the clarinet of the talented group Mobius, plays with a ravishing range of tone and natural warmth, well supported by the string quartet led by Philippe Honore. Plane is also the brilliant soloist in Howells’s even more ambitious Clarinet Sonata of 1946, more angular and percussive than one expects from Howells. Honore is the violinist with the pianist Sophia Rahman in the powerful Violin Sonata 3, written for Albert Sammons in 1923 after a visit by the composer to Canada, inspired by the rugged grandeur of the Rockies. The Prelude for Harp and the Near-Minuet for Clarinet and Piano are attractive



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