John Veale died in 2006 aged eighty-four having left for us a wealth of fine music that deserves greater exposure alongside the Violin Concerto , a gloriously Mahlerian work which was, until the arrival of this recorded recital , the only available evidence of his outstanding creative talent . Now the Chandos recording is complemented by this of his String Quartet , an energetic and yet lyrical , imaginative work written while he was studying with Roger Sessions in America in the early 1950s and, apart from a single performance in Oxford in 1953 , was not heard again until the present performers , the Adderbury Ensemble , publically revived it in 2008 with understandable astonishment that it had been so long neglected. It is a work in three movements , an impassioned emotional opening ending with a busy coda heralding a contemplative and strongly structured slow movement , and a vigorous finale .
The CD also includes an Impromptu for solo recorder , a short memorial to the soprano Tracy Chadwell, and a light -hearted Triptych, originally for recorder and guitar , written at the request of John Turner, and transcribed with string quartet accompaniment for performance in 2003 . Even at eighty, Veale had not lost that vital sense of humour !
Robert Crawford, who shares this recital, is now eighty-five and shows no sign of easing his schedule of creative work. In response to a request from John Turner, he completed the Elegiac Quintet in 2008 as a memorial to his father -in-law, Robin Orr. The two short outer movements enclose the ‘Elegy for Robin’, originally standing alone with organ accompaniment.
The elegiac mood is dispelled by the ‘scherzando’ finale.
There are Three Two-part Inventions for recorder and clarinet dating from 2001 , an unexpected combination that is well managed, and a more substantial and intriguing Clarinet Quintet completed late in 1992 , a work that neatly incorporates the clarinet into the string texture with success.