I've always been a little puzzled that those people behind recorded music companies (and likewise those who organise festivals and arrange concerts) rarely communicate with those who, like Colin, seek to benefit the company by making worthwhile suggestions about how present catalogues could be enhanced by making available music that so many of us want to hear. Obviously record companies can't reply to all the suggestions they receive - but then how good to know that Antony Smith keeps an eye on what happens on MusicWeb, which after all, is (in his own words) one of the most grown up review sites around!
Might I take the opportunity to make a further suggestion to Lyrita? The Lyrita catalogue is indeed an indispensable item in the furniture of the world. And much as I am deeply grateful for it, I do regret that perhaps its principal focus is upon orchestral music. My plea is for a greater representation of chamber music. There is a significant legacy of string quartets written by British composers over the last century, and many of them composers whose orchestral music is already well represented in the Lyrita catalogue.
To take but two examples. There are six String Quartets of William Wordsworth, and everything I've read about them indicates that they are fine works, and works which the composer himself cared much about. And again, the five String Quartets of Alun Hoddinott. Maybe now and again they are performed in and around Cardiff, but I've never encountered any of them in concert and there are no publically available recordings.
In the case of Daniel Jones the Delme Quartet recorded all eight Quartets for Chandos, and that set has given me very great pleasure over the 18 years it has been sitting on my shelves. I would think the world an even better place if we had a comparable set of the String Quartets of Hoddinott and Wordsworth.
I've corresponded extensively with a young London based Quartet whose reputation is rapidly ascending and they've expressed an interest in looking at these works. I understand they have approached Lyrita who have shown a real interest. I'd like to do my bit in encouraging Lyrita in these possible projects! All regular readers of this grown up site know there has been a significant tradition of string quartet writing in 20th century British music, and there are many fine quartets besides those of, for example, Britten and Tippett. It would be wonderful if Lyrita enabled them to see the light of day.
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