Full of 'ear worms', the music of Ludwig Thuille (1861- 1907) is not nearly as well-loved as it should be. Champs Hill Records are trying to change that, having released a 2-CD set of his chamber music to critical acclaim (CHRCD001, CHRCD02).
This new release of his complete keyboard works with pianist Alasdair Beatson and organist David Dunnet, show the range and changing style of his keyboard writing.
Famous and hugely respected as a teacher, had he lived beyond the age of 45 there might have been more of his 'late style', represented here by the Zwei Klavierstücke - harmonically darker and less predictable than expected, going against his reputation as a reactionary composer.
His Three Piano Pieces, Op.3, sometimes Brahmsian in tone, sometimes with echoes of Liszt, are more substantial than the titles might indicate - for the concert platform pianist rather than the salon.
Three Piano Pieces, Op.34, show how much his later style evolved - mild dissonance and chromatic harmonies and an element of sardonic humour.
His early Organ Sonata (he was a trained organist) is his only composition for the instrument, in three substantial sections.
Alasdair Beatson is highly regarded as a distinctive and vibrant musician, a chamber music specialist, and creative programmer. His CD of Mendelssohn piano music with SOMM Recordings received praise for highly sensitive playing of rare insight (Classic FM Magazine) and was awarded the 'Outstanding' accolade of International Record Review.
David Dunnet is Organist and Master of the Music at Norwich Cathedral, and is a busy recitalist, having studied at Clare College Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music.