Posted by Peter on April 9, 2015, 9:03 pm, in reply to "http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2015/Apr/Seiber_Ulysses_SRCD348.htm"
I can't resist chucking in my bit. Along with Martin Walker and Colin Mackie I very much appreciated John France's review of this CD. My copy is still in the postal system, and I shall be waiting by my post-box tomorrow! John France's review should serve to alert those who have not listened to Seiber to the high quality of his music. |
There was a favourable review by Rob Barnett of the Edinburgh Quartet recording of Seiber's three quartets dated 1924, 1935 and 1951. However judged by some lack of notice elsewhere I've got the impression that this disc, to echo Hume's own remark about his Treatise, fell deadborn from the press. If my impression is correct, how very sad for these quartets are deeply serious and wonderfully rewarding works. I was fortunate in hearing a private performance of the Third Quartet by the Amadeus in the mid-1960s, and it was that which opened my ears to Seiber. Fingers crossed the success of the Lyrita disc might lead to recordings of other works.
If there are signs of a most welcome awakening of interest in Seiber's work, perhaps, alas, the same can't yet be said of Peter Racine Fricker. Fricker, like Seiber, also has three quartets written at different points in his creative life, and interestingly the Amadeus was closely connected to one of them - the Second - and again I heard them play the work. That performance has now been in my head for the last 50 years, and I've never heard the work since. Scandalous given its quality. Hans Keller no less had a very high opinion of it.
After their recording of the Seiber quartets I wrote to the Edinburgh Quartet urging them to investigate those of Fricker. Some weeks later I received a reply that Fricker's quartets looked "very interesting", but that seemed to be followed by silence.
Apologies: I started with a comment on Seiber, and it seems to have meandered into a slight rant about Fricker!