Acclaimed pianist Piers Lane and his fellow Australians, the Goldner String Quartet, reprise their highly successful partnership in these world-premiere recordings of the two String Quartets and Piano Quintet of Irish composer Hamilton Harty. Born in County Down, Harty (1879–1941) was a remarkable, self-taught musician who wrote in a lyrical Romantic idiom, as evidenced in these appealing works, while incorporating a modal astringency and folk-music charm that are reminiscent of Percy Grainger. In particular, the winding, pentatonic melody of the Lento of the Piano Quintet—a lusciously big-boned work worthy of Tchaikovsky—and the delightful 9/8 ‘hop jig’ of the first movement of String Quartet No 2 seem like settings of folk-melodies that have echoed for centuries around the green hills of Ireland. Intriguingly, however, they are entirely Harty’s own invention.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
The Goldner String Quartet, joined in the Quintet by fellow Australian Piers Lane, display just the right warmth and spirit to suit this attractive music, much of it written con brio. Jeremy Dibble's notes are rather dry, but Hyperion's succulent recording is a peach. BBC ****
Piers Lane plays immaculately with great sympathy; and though the Goldner Quartet are not the richest-toned group, they too play warmly to bring out the finest qualities of the music. Altogether a delightful disc of music neglected for far too long. Gramophone