Two Avison Ensemble CDs are due to be released this week, one featuring the work of Charles Avison (12 Concerti after Geminiani) and the other one of his pupils John Garth (Six Concertos for Violincello).
John Garth was born in 1721 not far from Durham and was a pupil of Charles Avison, the Newcastle organist and composer. Garth was himself a gifted organist and composer. He was also highly involved with the Durham music scene.
The works recorded on this CD were published in 1760 and dedicated to Edward, Duke of York, an accomplished cellist – indeed these appear to be the first English cello concertos ever written.
They were composed at a time of great change in British music – away from the baroque concerto grosso style of Corelli and Geminiani towards the three movement ‘da camera’ approach developed by composers such as J C Bach.
These Garth concertos contain influences of both styles and are utterly delightful listening. This world premiere recording features period instruments.
Garth is hardly known in the UK and this is the first time his complete cello concertos have been released, introducing him to a new audience.