John Garth, a close associate of Avison’s, may have been one
of Avison’s first pupils, and he ran the Durham equivalent to Avison’s Newcastle subscription concerts. Born in County Durham (rather than the city), he may have first come to the city as a performer in one of Avison’s concerts. Like Avison, he composed much music for his own concerts and performed in them as well, and he and Avison performed reciprocally in each other’s concert series. His music was popular, and a great deal of it was published (including his completion of a work that Avison first began – the English edition of the Marcello Psalms ). The six violoncello concertos that comprise this double-CD set were dedicated to Edward, Duke of York, an accomplished cellist whom Garth and Avison had met when organising a concert for him. They were written for Garth to perform in his own concerts, thus also filling a gap in the market, since not much cello music was then available. Well-received and much-loved, the concerti combine the concerto grosso style beloved of Avison with more modern elements, in works of superb craftsmanship and great allure. They are given wonderfully crisp, enthusiastic, and convincing performances by Richard Tunnicliffe and the Avison Ensemble on another excellent disc.