The centrepiece of this disc sets Dylan Thomas's defiant In my craft or sullen art for tenor and string quartet. Huw's brother Paul is soloist in the lyrical Sonata for Cello and Eight Instruments; while there are echoes of Britten and Berkeley in the beautifully wrought Three Auden Songs, sung by tenor Mark Padmore, accompanied by Huw Watkins on piano. Alina Ibragimova excels in the virtuosic Partita for solo violin, which Watkins describes as a 'very fast, relentless gigue’.
Mark Padmore tenor
Elias String Quartet
Paul Watkins cello
The Nash Ensemble
Alina Ibragimova violin
Huw Watkins piano
‘Splendid portrait disc in NMC’s new strand of debuts…’ BBC Music Magazine
'Pungent and confrontational ... In My Craft or Sullen Art, show Watkins’ rather Brittenesque approach to word setting; his instrumental writing is more immediate, more characterful, though' The Guardian
'… music with a depth of thought and subtlety of execution that continues to reward more deeply on each successive listening' Tempo Magazine
'Lyricism flourishes, and tonal echoes are exposed alongside chromatic scrunches and abrasive textures ... a splendid portrait disc in NMC's stand of debuts' BBC Music Magazine
Sonata for Cello and Eight Instruments was recorded at the Menuhin Hall, Yehudi Menuhin School, Surrey on 27 October 2010. Four Spencer Pieces, Three Auden Songs and In my craft or sullen art were recorded in the same venue on 28-29 January 2011.
DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer/ Producer
Partita for solo violin was recorded by BBC Radio 3 on 15 October 2007 at St Silas Church, Kentish Town, London.
LINDSAY KEMP Recording Producer
MARTIN APPLEBY Recording Engineer
DAVID LEFEBER Digital Editing/Mastering
Four Spencer Pieces, Three Auden Songs, In my craft or sullen art, Sonata for Cello and Eight Instruments (P) 2012 NMC Recordings Ltd
Partita for solo violin (P) BBC 2012 (C) 2012 NMC Recordings Ltd