The award-winning Sacconi Quartet is recognised for its unanimous and compelling ensemble, consistently communicating with a fresh and imaginative approach. Performing with style and commitment, the Quartet is known throughout the world for its creativity and integrity of interpretation. Formed in 2001, its four founder members continue to demonstrate a shared passion for string quartet repertoire, infectiously reaching out to audiences with their energy and enthusiasm. The Quartet have enjoyed a highly successful international career, performing regularly throughout Europe, at London’s major venues, in recordings and on radio broadcasts. The Sacconi is Quartet in Association at the Royal College of Music.
Roderick Williams is active in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital, encompassing a repertoire from the baroque to world premieres.
He has enjoyed close associations with Opera North and Scottish Opera, and has also worked for English National Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. As at home in contemporary music as in the standard repertoire, he has taken roles in the world premieres of Sally Beamish's Monster (for Scottish Opera), David Sawer's From Morning to Midnight and Martin Butler's A Better Place (for English National Opera) and Alexander Knaifel's Alice in Wonderland and Michel van der Aa's After Life (for Netherlands Opera). Further contemporary roles include Jaufre Rudel in Saariaho's L'amour de loin (ENO), Eddie in Mark-Anthony Turnage's Greek (BBC) and roles in Tippett's The Knot Garden (Barbican) and Birtwistle's The Second Mrs Kong (Royal Festival Hall).
He has taken major roles in conductor Richard Hickox's semi-staged performances of opera, including Britten's Gloriana (Aldeburgh, 2003), Walton's Troilus and Cressida and most of the Vaughan Williams operas. Other concert performances include Henze, Strauss, Stravinsky and Wagner (Donner in Das Rheingold for ENO).
He is an accomplished recital artist who can be heard at Wigmore Hall, at many festivals, and on Radio 3, where he has appeared on Iain Burnside's 'Voices' programme. His numerous recordings include Vaughan Williams, Berkeley and Britten operas for Chandos, and an extensive repertoire of English song with pianist Iain Burnside for Naxos. Roderick Williams is also a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio.
David Pyatt won the prestigious BBC Young Musician of the Year competition at the age of 14. Following this success he embarked on a solo career which has taken him throughout the UK, as well as to Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan with an extensive range of repertoire from Telemann, Haydyn and Mozart to those of leading contemporary composers. In the UK he has worked with many top orchestras and made his BBC Proms debut in 1993. From 1998-2012 he was Principal Horn of the London Symphony Orchestra. He was appointed Principal Horn of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2012.
David's recordings for EMI of the Strauss Concertos and the Britten Serenade with the Britten Sinfonia and Nicholas Cleobury were met with tremendous critical acclaim, with Gramophone naming him as its Young Artist of the Year. In 1996 he signed an exclusive contract with Erato Disques. His first disc on Erato, featuring the Mozart Concertos with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, was Gramophone's Recording of the Month in July 1997. His second disc of horn and piano works with Martin Jones was followed by a recording of English music with Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Peter Donohoe and Levon Chilingirian. In 2003 a recording of Schubert's Auf dem Strom with Michael Schade and Graham Johnson was issued by Hyperion. 2006 saw the release of his recording for Quartz of the Brahms Horn Trio with members of the Gould Piano Trio.
- 01. The Woman By The Sea18'06"
- 02. Silver Nocturnes: I More are men's ends...2'52"
- 03. Silver Nocturnes: II Set me whereas the sun3'39"
- 04. Silver Nocturnes: III The lowest Trees have tops...3'04"
- 05. Silver Nocturnes: IV Interlude3'59"
- 06. Silver Nocturnes: V My true love hath my heart...4'58"
- 07. Silver Nocturnes: VI The setting sun...1'50"
- 08. Horn Quintet: Vigoroso4'05"
- 09. Horn Quintet: Slow12'30"
- 10. Horn Quintet: Prestissimo6'32"
David Pyatt horn
Roderick Williams baritone
John McCabe piano
John McCabe (1939-2015) was a prolific composer and pianist, bequeathing in all an impressive seven symphonies and seven string quartets, as well as numerous concertos and several major ballets. McCabe was appointed CBE by the Queen in 1985 for his services to British music. Three highly expressive chamber works make up this album. The piano quintet The Woman By The Sea draws inspiration from a the Kenji Mizoguchi film Sansho Dayu (1954). It was recorded in 2009 and features John McCabe on piano, with the Sacconi Quartet. Silver Nocturnes for baritone and string quartet, sets poetry by three of the so-called ‘Silver Poets’ of the sixteenth century: Henry Howard (Earl of Surrey), Sir Edward Dyer, and Sir Philip Sidney. There is a mournful, almost austere tone established through the Britten-esque vocals, here sung by Roderick Williams. McCabe described the french horn as "one of the most evocative and beautiful of all instruments". His Horn Quintet was written especially for the artists on this recording: David Pyatt and the Sacconi Quartet.
The bonus download-only track, Desert III: Landscapes, for piano trio, is inspired by McCabe's fascination with deserts and performed by the Australian Piano Trio.
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 BEST ALBUMS OF 2017
'The finest performance of this work I have heard ... NMC's sound, mastered by David Lefeber, is superb' Gramophone
'Beguiles and intrigues' BBC Music Magazine
‘As always from NMC, the quality of production is excellent … a welcome addition to the catalogue.’ British Music Society
Horn Quintet was recorded on 13 April 2016 and Silver Nocturnes on 17 March 2017, both at All Saints Church, East Finchley, London.
DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer & Producer
The Woman by the Sea was recorded on 16 November 2009 at Champs Hill, West Sussex.
ALEXANDER VAN INGEN Recording Engineer & Producer
DAVE ROWELL Editing