Harty: String Quartets & Piano Quintet (CD)

Current Stock:
Goldner String Quartet, Piers Lane

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 quartets are fluent if unremarkable works...but the piano quintet is much more impressive. It's a real discovery: a big, bold statement full of striking melodic ideas and intriguing harmonic shifts...Lane strikes a nice balance between assertiveness and delicacy in the piano writing, with the Goldner's refinement and beauty of tone providing the perfect foil; their accounts of Op 1 and Op 4 are equally poised and immaculate.” - The Guardian, UK