Opening the Door to the Music of Roy Heaton Smith


Catalogue No: DDA 21228
EAN/UPC: 809730122828
Artists: , , , , , , ,
Release Date: July 2016
Genres: , , ,
Discs: 2
Total Playing Time: 123:53

A feast of music by the late Roy Heaton Smith includes chamber works for clarinet, recorder and viola, solo piano music, string quartets and songs all bubbling with inspiration and freedom of expression and style, in excellent performances from top Manchester (UK) musicians.

As a bonus we include a recording made from a radio broadcast in 1958. This was recorded from an AM broadcast off-air to an acetate disc which became damaged; Richard Scott has done wonders to make it not just playable but in decent sound balance too, and it remains the only recording of Smith’s fine Divertimento.

Track Listing

    Roy Heaton Smith:

  1. I. Three Bagatelles, Op. 46 − No. 1 Scherzo (1:21)
  2. II. Three Bagatelles, Op. 46 − No. 2 Dance (1:39)
  3. III. Three Bagatelles, Op. 46 − No. 3 Capriccio (2:42)
  4. A Suite of Variations, Op. 37 (14:01)
  5. I. Pastoral − I. Slow (1:46)
  6. II. Pastoral − II. Brightly but not too fast (2:55)
  7. III. Pastoral − III. At a moderate pace (2:52)
  8. IV. Pastoral − IV. Epilogue (1:52)
  9. Introduction and Variations, Op. 24 (13:42)
  10. I. Trois Chansons Romantiques, Op. 22 − No. 1 Chanson (2:26)
  11. II. Trois Chansons Romantiques, Op. 22 − No. 2 La chanson bien douce (1:29)
  12. III. Trois Chansons Romantiques, Op. 22 − No. 3 Berceuse (4:02)
  13. Passacaglia, Op. 18b (9:26)
  14. I. String Quartet, Op. 34 − I. Overture (5:55)
  15. II. String Quartet, Op. 34 − II. Variations (10:49)
  16. Sonatina alla Fantasia, Op. 23 (7:53)
  17. I. Sonatina, Op. 19 − I. Allegretto con moto (3:38)
  18. II. Sonatina, Op. 19 − II. Andante ma non troppo (2:35)
  19. III. Sonatina, Op. 19 − III. Poco vivace- Presto con fuoco (3:27)
  20. I. A Vision of the Future − I. In the cold mud of Flanders (2:31)
  21. II. A Vision of the Future − II. No more shall nation against nation arise (6:31)
  22. I. Four folksong arrangements, Op. 26 − I. Robin Adair (2:39)
  23. II. Four folksong arrangements, Op. 26 − II. The Keel Row (1:21)
  24. III. Four folksong arrangements, Op. 26 − III. Farewell Manchester (1:48)
  25. IV. Four folksong arrangements, Op. 26 − IV. Good Morrow Mistress Bright (1:36)
  26. Divertimento (11:58)


MusicWeb International

Based on the music presented on this double CD, [Roy Heaton Smith] is most worthy of the dedicated work that has been put into the production of this unique retrospective. I found the ‘Pastoral’ a magical experience. It quite clearly out-Britten’s Britten in its effectiveness, colourful scoring and musical interpretation of the text. The composer has a masterly understanding of string writing. [The String Quartet] is a little masterpiece. I loved Clare Wilkinson’s voice in all the vocal works. Based on this present two-CD exploration of his music, any forthcoming performances will be essential listening.

” —John France
The Chronicle

We like quirky modern classical albums like this. The music, we think, falls into three categories: music he wrote for his own entertainment, which is often playful and amusing; more serious work that is a little stark but still enjoyable and then some colder pieces that we guess are modern but which we found harder to digest. There is nothing that is really difficult, though. It’s an interesting and meaty CD. Fans of 20th century music will doubtless be attracted but anyone with an interest in modern British composers will find much to like

” —Jeremy Condliffe

Diversified styles of music, which could possibly be assigned to the category ‘neo-classical’. Some is certainly more associated with ‘British Light Music’, but there are also sophisticated pieces. A pleasant program, not earth-moving, but pleasant chamber music entertainment. The musicians’ presentation of the pieces is lively and impressive.

” —Norbert Tischer
The Sunday Times

An affectionate salvaging of an oeuvre at risk of falling by the wayside. Heaton Smith{s} work, broadly neoclassical, is not without distinction … his abstract pieces can be striking.

” —Paul Driver