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.
'Harty's melodies are appealing and graceful, the counterpoint is never overwrought … song-like passages intervene in the Scherzo [of the Second Quartet], and there is more Romantic song in the third movement, at one point most exquisitely decorated by one violin while the other sustains the song … [the Piano Quartet] is a joy to hear, in a performance that is compelling from first to last … I welcome this release with enthusiasm: no-one could fail to enjoy it' (International Record Review)
'Here, most valuably, we have three of Harty's important chamber works … Piers Lane plays immaculately with great sympathy … and the Goldner Quartet play warmly to bring out the finest qualities of the music. Altogether a delightful disc of music neglected for far too long' (Gramophone)
'The Goldner String Quartet, joined in the Quintet by Piers Lane, displays just the right warmth and spirit to suit this attractive music … Hyperion's succulent recording is a peach' (BBC Music Magazine)