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FERGUSON, H.: Piano Sonata in F minor / Discovery / 5 Bagatelles / Partita (Terroni, Bannister, Peaceman)

Composer(s):Ferguson, Howard
Artist(s) Bannister, Phillida, contralto • Terroni, Raphael, piano • Peaceman, Vadim, piano
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category InstrumentalVocal
Catalogue 8.572289
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Belfast-born Ferguson’s reputation as a composer rests on the nineteen published works that he wrote between 1928 and 1959. Rhythmic energy endows his music with its exciting sense of momentum, underpinned by his command of Baroque and Classical forms and grasp of Romantic harmony and melody. Such characteristics of ‘progressive conservatism’ may be heard in his Partita for Two Pianos, the earliest work on this disc. Ferguson’s only song cycle, Discovery, was one of Kathleen Ferrier’s favourite works and is acknowledged as one of his finest compositions.


Great works from a small oeuvre
Review By jleonard,April 2014

Howard Ferguson was a British composer, born in Northern Ireland. He was a performer and musicologist as a well as a composer (his friendship with Gerald Finzi is well-known), and although he published only a few works, they are all very well regarded.

The Piano Sonata recorded here is considered to be his masterpiece, a powerful work that recalls Beethoven in its intensity and nobility. It was written in the early years of the Second World War, and although its inspiration was a personal one (the death of a friend), its turbulence reflects the events of the time. There are three movements with a beautiful slow movement bringing some consolation.

The Bagatelles also recall Beethoven, and not just by their title. These are later works and the set can be thought more....


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