v.1. Jean Coulthard delivers a monologue entitled, "Music is my whole life..." -- Ballad: "a winter's tale" -- Convoy -- v.2. Four etudes for piano -- Music on a quiet song -- Sonata for cello and piano -- v.3. Sonata for piano -- Quebec May -- Variations on Bach -- Spring rhapsody -- v.4. String quartet no 2: "threnody" -- Three love songs -- Lean out of the window golden hair -- More lovely grows on Earth -- v.5. Concerto for piano and orchestra -- Concerto for piano and orchestra -- Two night songs -- v.6. Two duets -- Octet: twelve essays on a cantabile theme -- Octet: twelve essays on a cantabile theme -- Sketches from the western woods.
You have a treat in store learning about the pioneering life in music of Jean Coulthard (1908-2000), an important, prolific Canadian composer and teacher, whose career epitomises the difficulties for women composers everywhere (hear her describe the experience of being patronised by Vaughan Williams when studying at the RCM!). It was her impressionist Sketches from the Western Woods recorded by John Ogdon, and composed for him in 1970, which first caught my attention. It proves to be a welcome addition to the Ogdon discography; his playing of them displays the greatest refinement. Coulthard's interesting neo-romantic piano concerto (1967) deserves wider dissemination. Apparently it received only its première performance and this recording (well played, though not by Ogdon) will give pleasure to anyone interested in that genre. Her innovative Twelve Essays on a Cantabile Theme for string octet (1972) are up to date and truly original.