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Cat. No. CHAN 10322 Price: £0 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10322 - Hubicki: Dedication in Time
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Available From: 15 June 2005
Written in the 1950s, From the Isles of the Sea was inspired by Scotland’s Western Isles, a favourite holiday destination for Margaret, which has provided much musical inspiration over many decades. This work beautifully portrays the ebb and flow of tides and the call of seagulls in the wind. The substantial Piano Sonata was composed in 1934 and until this recording had not been played for nearly seventy years. Full Fathom Five is a short setting from 1934 of the song from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The vocal line is intense and the piano part richly expressive. The left-hand bell effects evoke the depth and mystery of the ocean whilst the right-hand semiquavers portray the ceaseless motion of the sea. Lonely Mere was inspired by the Malvern Hills and the music captures the beauty and vastness of the countryside. Rigaudon provides a lively contrast. Composed in 1939, the Theme and Variations were first performed at the Royal Academy of music by a quartet in which her future husband was the first violinist. Written in 1957, the title of the Goladon Suite combines the names of two of Margeret’s greatest friends, the piano teacher Gola Martin-Smith and her husband Don. The four pieces which make up the Irish Fantasy were written in 1935.The work, in arrangement for full orchestra, was conducted by both Sir Malcolm Sargent and Sir Henry Wood.Written in 1939, Svolgimento, from the Italian, ‘unfolding’, reflects the ominous atmosphere of Britain on the brink of war. The piece was originally conceived as the first movement of a Sonata for the composer to play with her beloved husband, Bohdan Hubicki, but Bohdan was killed during a London air-raid in October 1940, just three months after the couple’s wedding. Understandably, the work was never completed and the Svolgimento now stands alone as a work of great poignancy.

Performances, production and engineering do Hubicki absolutely proud – and I’d wager that the Piano Sonata in particular will win its nonagenarian creator many new admirers.

This is a release, then, of very likeable music. I regret not previously knowing Margaret Hubicki’s work and that a ’late’ anniversary should only now trigger interest in it. Chandos is to be congratulated for its initiative and for securing excellent performances, recording and presentation.
International Record Review


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