John Joubert - The Piano Music
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Label: Prima Facie
Cat No: PFCD097
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 22nd February 2019
Lyric Fantasy on themes from Jane Eyre, op.144
Piano Sonata no.1, op.24
Piano Sonata no.2, op.71
Piano Sonata no.3, op.157
ArtistsDuncan Honeybourne (piano)
John Pierre Herman Joubert (20 March 1927 - 7 January 2019) was a British composer of South African descent, particularly of choral works. He lived in Moseley, a suburb of Birmingham, England, for over 50 years. A music academic at the universities of Hull and Birmingham for 36 years, Joubert took early retirement in 1986 to concentrate on composing and remained active into his 80s. Though perhaps best known for his choral music, particularly the carols Torches and There is No Rose of Such Virtue and the anthem O Lorde, the Maker of Al Thing, Joubert composed over 160 works including three symphonies, four concertos and seven operas.
“The spring of 2017 offered me a heartwarming opportunity to revisit the complete piano music of a composer who has been highly significant in my musical life. John Joubert celebrated his 90th birthday in March, an occasion I marked by presenting the cycle as an evening recital at the Birmingham and Midland Institute. This creative artist of trenchant expressive power, finely tuned eclecticism, visionary intensity and refined craftsmanship has, over some six decades, enriched the solo piano repertoire with a sequence of personal and dramatic essays: each of them with a distinctive individuality, yet charting a compelling and logical narrative when presented as a whole. The three piano sonatas constitute in themselves a major cycle, the triptych charting an instructive journey through different seasons of his career and musical mindset.
“Most striking for me as an omnipresent juxtaposition throughout the cycle is the irresistible coalescence of the violent and the consoling, the heartstoppingly lyrical and the menacingly unsettling, the sumptuously tender and the bracingly aggressive. Rarely, if ever, have the percussive and the songlike attributes of the piano fused more organically, or to more dramatic - and beautiful - effect. The jagged rhythms of the irresistible early Dance Suite and the warm lines of the operatic Lyric Fantasy complement the cycle of sonatas very effectively.” – Duncan Honeybourne
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