Roberto Gerhard (edited by Meirion Bowen):
Trito Edicions in Barcelona have just issued this set of three previously unpublished instrumental pieces by Roberto Gerhard - two from the Gerhard archives in Valls, Catalonia, the third from the Gerhard archive at Cambridge University, UK. They have been edited for publication by Meirion Bowen.
Little is known about the origins of the Sonata or the Andantino, both of which consist of a single movement lasting about 3 minutes. They may have been intended for the retrospective concert of Gerhard's music given at the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona on 22 December, 1929, but in the event omitted from the programme. Each of them may also have been planned as part of a larger-scale work. Whatever the circumstances, they both reflect the impact on Gerhard of the music of Schoenberg, with whom he had just completed a five-year period of studies (1923-28). The distinctive invention and formal conciseness of the Sonata, in particular, make it notable addition to the repertoire.
Gerhard's 'Study' (or Sample Piece) was written in advance of obtaining a contract to compose the soundtrack to Thorold Dickinson's film, Secret People, in 1951. The piece is based upon two main themes - The Song of the Birds (popularised by the cellist Casals) and L'Emigrant (a song by the Catalan composer Amadeu Vives); these are separated by a lively, sardana-like middle episode.