This is the second volume in Matthew Schellhorn’s survey of Herbert Howells’ music for piano. The first (8.571382), released in July 2020, received a very warm critical reception, with reviews highlighting both the significance of Howells’ output and the sensitivity of Matthew Schellhorn’s interpretations:
‘This revelatory recording is one of the most refreshing discs I have heard for some time.’ (International Piano)
‘Boasting exemplary production values, this superbly performed survey constitutes a copiously rewarding voyage of discovery.’ (Gramophone)
‘Musically delightful and historically significant, this is an excellent disc in every respect.’ (MusicWeb International)
‘Matthew Schellhorn proves a most sympathetic interpreter.’ (BBC Music Magazine)
In the first volume of this series (Naxos 8.571382), Matthew Schellhorn surveyed six decades of Herbert Howells’ compositions for the piano. This second volume reprises the journey, tracing the composer’s stylistic development from the charming poetic miniatures of his youth through to the resonant modal quirkiness of his later dances. The survey includes a centrally important work, the Sonatina of 1971, performed here in Schellhorn’s own edition compiled from the manuscript sources, which includes variants not heard for half a century.