12 Variations on HARRY

John BloodGZ 148
Piano | Duration: 13½ minutes

These light hearted character pieces are a set of 12 variations all based on the five letters of the name HARRY – with a slight phonetic cheat for the ‘Y’! Through letters and emails, a friendship between Harry Presburg (who lives in Florida) and the composer and his partner has flourished for many years and these pieces are by way of a thank you for all the gentle kindness shown by Harry, a keen pianist.

Web cover GZ 148

  • 1 Fanfare
  • 2 Saturday stroll
  • 3 Valse melancolique
  • 4 The fidgets
  • 5 March
  • 6 Toccata
  • 7 Daydreams
  • 8 Pyotr Illich
  • 9 The stoic
  • 10 Tarentella
  • 11 Habenera
  • 12 N Y Burlesque

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Vermilion Sonata

John BloodGZ 145
Cello and Piano | Duration: 13 minutes

The three movements of this sonata all grow from the piano’s brief five note opening phrase with which the work begins. The first movement has an energetic forward drive led by an angry sounding cello which is then followed by a presto second movement where the two instruments try to engage in a more balanced dialogue. Unfortunately this conversation eventually disintegrates and the final, slow movement is a sad acknowledgement of this failure to communicate.

A companion piece to the Cobalt Sonata for violin, this sonata was written for Allan Heron, principle cellist of the LGSO.

Cover Cover - GZ 145

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Cobalt Sonata

John BloodGZ 146
Violin and Piano | Duration: 21 minutes

John Blood’s friendship with Michael Alexander, for whom this sonata was written, dates back to their music making in Secondary School and later, when they were both students, at the Royal Academy of Music. Michael was leader of the second violins in the Ulster Orchestra for many years and is still one of their principle players.

The sonata reflects the personal idiosyncrasies and memories, likes and dislikes, of such a long and rewarding friendship. The first movement is on a large scale, full of shifting moods and with an unsettling sense of urgency. This is followed by a deeply felt slow movement and the sonata finishes with an Armageddon Galop that has, amongst other things, idiotic Christian soldiers vying with Beethoven’s Prometheus as the human race dances gleefully towards its oblivion!

Web cover GZ 146

  • I Animato
  • II In memoriam
  • III Armageddon Galop

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Sonata no. 2 for violin & piano

Elizabeth MaconchyGZ 090
Violin and Piano | Duration: 18 minutes


Elizabeth Maconchy’s second sonata for violin and piano was written in 1943 in arduous wartime circumstances. She had been evacuated in 1941 to Downton Castle in Shropshire with her husband William LeFanu and their infant daughter Anna. Recently recovered from tuberculosis, she was cut off from musical friends and family, and her mother and sister died in Switzerland during the war. Unsurprisingly, the second sonata is intensely serious, and is markedly different from her exuberant first sonata – which was written in 1927, when she was a student of Vaughan Williams. Its haunting, elegiac lines foreshadow her later work of the post-war years. Violinist Maria Lidka gave the first performance at the Wigmore Hall, London in May 1945, with pianist Antony Hopkins.

It is astonishing that Elizabeth Maconchy’s two sonatas for violin and piano have remained unpublished for so many years. Gonzaga Music is honoured to have been entrusted by her estate with their publication. It has been carefully prepared from the composer’s manuscripts by Gonzaga Music’s editorial director John Blood, with oversight by Nicola LeFanu (Maconchy’s daughter) and Giles Swayne (her cousin). We hope the publication of these sonatas, which were hitherto almost unknown, will introduce them to a wide musical public and enable them to take their place in the repertoire – while providing a foil to the series of thirteen string quartets for which Elizabeth Maconchy is so justly famous.

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CD available from Resonus Classics (www.resonusclassics.com): RES10271

Sonata 2 - WEB

  • I  Molto moderato
  • II  Allegro molto
  • III  Lento, quasi recitativo
  • IV  Presto

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