English composer Roger Quilter was born in Hove on 1 November 1877 into a large and wealthy family. He studied at Eton and then at Dr Hoch's Konservatorium in Frankfurt (where fellow composition students of Ivan Knorr included Henry Balfour Gardiner, Percy Grainger, Norman O'Neill and Cyril Scott).
A member of the so-called Frankfurt group of composers (who shared a dislike of Beethoven), Quilter wrote over a hundred delicate and refined songs, many of which are still performed, and is also known for light music such as the Children's Overture, but he also wrote operas such as Love at the Inn and Julia. His vocal music was performed by leading baritone Gervase Elves, and Quilter influenced various other English composers, including Peter Warlock.
Quilter died in London on 21 September 1953, aged 75.
CD Spotlight. Birdsong Fragments - 'Songs of Travel and Home' performed by Jullien van Mellaerts, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a singer with a very expressive voice, a pleasing tone, a great insight into the music he sings ...'
Ensemble. A Neat Idea - A song recital by James Gaughan and David Hammond, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Centres of Excellence - Roderic Dunnett looks back to the 2017 Three Choirs Festival at Worcester, and forward to 2018 in Hereford
A Player to be reckoned with - Organ music from Richard Hills, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Me and my Aunts - A Shakespeare celebration, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Immensely Responsive - The Choir of Merton College, Oxford, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully moulded lines ...'
CD Spotlight. Wholly Inspiring - A recital by Elaine Huckle, heard by Howard Smith. '... her tonal resources are robust and the delivery pleasingly straightforward.'
CD Spotlight. Elegant Precision - A recital by Charlotte de Rothschild, heard by Howard Smith. '... consistently reliable ...'
CD Spotlight. Glorious Singing - A recital by Alice Coote and Graham Johnson, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... interpreted with great zest and passion ...'
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. Joining Forces - British Art Songs, heard by George Balcombe. '... a strong affinity ...'
Ensemble. Remarkable Development - Quilter songs from Trevor Alexander and Peter Crockford impress Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Musical Finesse - Songs by Gregg Kallor, recommended by Howard Smith. 'Go to the top of the class.'
CD Spotlight. Miniaturist Skills - Music by Carey Blyton, heard by Patric Standford. '... a delight for both performer and listener.'
CD Spotlight. Melodic Felicity - Salon music by Katharine Parker, reviewed by Robert Hugill. 'Edwards has a lovely soprano voice ...'
CD Spotlight. A well-chosen anthology - Listening to 'A Century of English Song', with Trevor Hold. 'Veira is particularly good ...'