JOHN JOUBERT (b.1927): String Quartet No. 2, Op. 91 (Brodsky Quartet), Landscapes for Soprano and Piano Trio, Op. 129, Piano Trio, Op. 113 (Patricia Rozario [soprano], David Chadwick [violin], Anna Joubert [cello], Mark Bebbington [piano]), Lyric Fantasy for Piano, Op. 144 (Bebbington), Piano Sonatas No. 1, Op. 24, No. 2, Op. 71 and No. 3, Op. 157 (John McCabe [piano]).
Catalogue Number: 09J010
Reference: CD 060-2
Description: Joubert's style is resolutely tonal; the composer for whom he has the most obvious affinity is, very evidently, Shostakovich (whom he greatly admired; the slow movement of the quartet is in his memory and quotes the DSCH motif). Britten, Vaughan Williams, Lambert, Elgar, and Joubert's one-time teacher, Alan Bush as well as Beethoven may also be detected in the background. Unafraid of extended forms - several movements are passacaglias - and sustained lyricism, Joubert has consistently written music with an earnest, sincere passion to communicate with an audience. The trio, with its ghostly aria, metrically agile scherzo and eloquent passacaglia combines Romantic expressiveness with Classical restraint, while the quartet is guaranteed to appeal to admirers of Shostakovich. The three sonatas span a period of almost a half-century, from a young composer's genial open-textured rather conservative (though hugely enjoyable) essay to the very recent third, more pianistically flamboyant and harmonically richer, by way of the second with its very distinct echoes of Shostakovich again. Even if it breaks no new ground, this is all music that one feels sure should be standard repertory, and it comes as a rather disagreeable surprise to discover that it is, in fact, not.