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This recording documents the artistry of a brilliant young Australian pianist who studied in London before the war and did much to promote new music after it. Mewton-Wood’s suicide in 1953 at the age of 31 was a blow to the Britten-Pears circle. Britten had chosen him for the premiere of the revised version of his Piano Concerto in 1946, and this studio recording – despite poor sound quality – captures the belief, vitality and dexterity he brought to it.
Mewton-Wood also accompanies Pears in Seiber’s haunting song-cycle To Poetry (1952) and Bush’s cantata Voices of the Prophets, where the rhythmically challenging piano part outshines the voice.
Works by Britten, Mátyás Seiber and Alan Bush
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