Despite being an excellent pianist himself, Britten wrote very few solo piano works in his maturity (though there are dozens of sonatas and suites from his childhood years). Holiday Diary was composed in 1934 and evokes the experience of an English seaside holiday: funfairs, still nights, and bracing dips into the sea.
Featuring world première recordings of the Preludes Op. 33 and 34 and the Variations Op. 37, find out more about the music of this wonderful and unjustly neglected English composer. The CD is available to buy on the shop.
In 1917, Delius composed the part-song 'To be sung of a Summer Night on the Water' for unaccompanied chorus. Originally written without words, Delius's transcending vision is expressed through this heartfelt melody and colourful harmony. With Midori Komachi (violin), recorded in Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh.
Possibly the biggest takeaway of this release, however, is the superb artistry of Simon Callaghan. Already represented by two discs in Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series, it is a pleasure to encounter his solo work. Clearly a musician of curiosity and discernment, Callaghan’s robust piano-playing is also thoughtful, subtle and refined. I look forward to hearing whatever he does next.