New Classics

Graham Whettam was born in 1927 and has devoted himself to composition since 1948. Self-taught, he studied the work of great composers, especially Bartok and Mahler, and found his musical ‘voice’ by listening critically to his works played by leading musicians and orchestras. J. Arthur Rank commissioned him to write the orchestral score for the famous film ‘Genevieve’ in 1953, and two years later a Children’s Film Foundation production with music by Whettam won a Premier Award at the Venice Film Festival. The internationally renowned Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow formed their piano duo in 1984 and have given many two-piano and piano-duet recitals as well as double concertos, taking in major festivals in Europe and the USA. Their concert repertoire mixes well-known masterpieces and rarities, often including first hearings of unjustly neglected works, and their recordings include many world premières. On this new CD the husband and wife duo play five pieces by Graham Whettam: Night Music for piano solo (Anthony Goldstone), Ballade hébraïque piano duet, Prelude, Scherzo and Elegy piano solo (Caroline Clemmow), Fantasy piano duet, and Prelude and Scherzo Impetuoso piano solo (Caroline Clemmow). Graham Whettam’s exuberant yet accessible music deserves to be much more widely known and these exceptional performances should help bring that about. ‘Graham Whettam is that now rare kind of composer, a natural symphonist; his ideas fall readily into patterns of conflict and resolution’ – The Sunday Times.