JAMES FRANCIS BROWN (b.1969): Piano Quartet (Tamás András [violin], Sarah-Jane Bradley [viola], Gemma Rosefield [cello], Katya Apekisheva [piano]), Violin Sonata (Jack Liebeck [violin], Apekisheva [piano]), Prospero's Isle for Cello and Piano (Rosefield [cello], Nicola Eimer [piano]), String Trio (Liebeck [violin], Bradley [viola], Rosefield [cello]).
Catalogue Number: 08N096
Reference: GMCD 7354
Description: Brown's idiom is very deliberately tonal, treated with a certain individuality of approach, while remaining heir to the traditions of earlier British composers - Bush and Tippett, but also Vaughan Williams and even Elgar. The quartet is a tautly argued single-movement sonata form structure, alternately tough and assertive and gently lyrical, tinged with melancholy. The sonata suggests another influence - Bartók - in three related but contrasting movements containing many passages of bravura vigor. 'Prospero's Isle' suggests imagery from 'The Tempest' in episodes suggestive of the nature of the characters and their magical transformations and relationships. The trio follows a sprightly, if slightly abrasive sonata movement with a set of strongly contrasted variations which chart a progression from a kind of pastoral optimism through more agitated, somber and dissonant territory.