William Hurlstone

William Hurlstone (1876-1906)

Nationality: English
Born: January 7, 1876, London Died: May 30, 1906, London (age 30)

Phantasie in a minor

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
Andante sostenuto
Duration: 9 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1905 (age 28-29)
Published: c. 1906, London: Novello (age 29-30)
1 recording, 1 videos
Bridge String Quartet
From Edition Silvertrust

William Hurlstone The Phantasie for String Quartet by William Hurlstone won first prize in the prestigious Cobbett Competition of 1905. The Cobbett Competitions where designed to encourage the younger generation of British composers to write chamber music. Its founder and benefactor was the chamber music aficionado Walter Wilson Cobbett. The rules of the competition provided an alternate format, the old English Fancy for Fantasia from the time of Purcell, to the traditional four movement work which had developed from Haydn onwards. There was to be only a single movement of around 15 minutes duration embracing a variety of moods, tone colors and tempi while at the same time retaining an inner unity.

The respected chamber music scholar and critic R.W. Walthew described the Phantasie as follows:

"The Phantasie for String Quartet won the first prize in the first of W.W. Cobbett’s now famous competitions and it may be considered a lucky happening that the series should be inaugurated with a work so truly representative of genuine chamber music. This Phantasie is really in four short movements but the whole work is built up on a few themes which appear in different forms throughout. This is a masterly and powerful piece of writing and is perfect from start to finish."

William Yeates Hurlstone (1876-1906) was born in London and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied piano and composition, the latter with Sir Charles Stanford, who among his many brilliant students considered Hurlstone his most talented. Virtually all of his contemporaries recognized his tremendous ability and the excellence of his compositions. In 1905 at the age of 28, he was appointed Professor of Harmony and Counterpoint at the Royal College but unfortunately, less than a year later, he died.

This fine work should interest both amateurs and professionals. It has been out of print for the better part of a century. It is our pleasure to make it available again.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Related Composers

1900 WWI Charles Stanford (1852-1924) William Hurlstone (1876-1906)
Charles Stanford (1852-1924)
Nationality: Irish | English
Born: September 30, 1852, Dublin Died: March 29, 1924, London (age 71)