The Endymion Ensemble, which specializes in British 20th century music, has delivered an outstanding assortment of Edmund Rubbra's chamber music with this disc. The seven pieces they've programmed are very appealing, especially the mysterious, swirling op. 16 Phantasy with its inventive, repeated motif that never seems to end (and you never want to end). Beautiful too, are the two oboe duos expertly performed by Melinda Maxwell (oboe) and Michael Dussek (piano): first, a short "Meditation"; then the Sonata for oboe and piano, which is a first rate work. The beefier works include a Piano Trio in one movement, which opens the disc, and Piano Trio No. 2, which is intelligently placed later in the program. The first trio suggests thematic connections with some of Rubbra's symphonic work; the second trio is throughly engaging, with sprightly melodies contrasting with a moody undercurrent. The other shorter pieces on this generously filled recital (77 minutes) include the Buddha Suite, which reflects Rubbra's early interest in eastern spirituality, and the gorgeous Duo for Cor Angelis and Piano, which is a fitting conclusion to the disc.
It's hard to imagine why this music, which is so intrinsically attractive, appears to have been consigned to relative obscurity. I would include it in a desert island collection of British chamber music and suggest others do the same.