Miriam Hyde plays her Piano Concerto No.2


Miriam Hyde is remembered by many as having played an enormous role in music education in this country. Her work over many decades for the Australian Music Examinations Board alone is legendary, and she was an accomplished pianist of the first rank.

It's not widely known, for example, that early in her career, Miriam Hyde wrote and performed two piano concertos. Even before she left to further her studies in London she had started writing the first concerto. It was performed in February 1934 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the composer herself as the soloist.

Almost immediately after writing the first concerto, she embarked on a second, which was premiered in 1935 with the London Symphony Orchestra and it too shows that this young Australian woman - still only 22 - was out to impress.

Fortunately, in 1975, both of Miriam Hyde's piano concertos were recorded in Perth with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra under Geoffrey Simon. The 62 year old composer was again the soloist, showing that these works - and her technique - had more than stood the test of time.

Music for the piano, chamber music and orchestral works were created throughout her long life. The G minor piano sonata, written during the second world war, is a major work which deserves to be better known. Many of the piano works were graded pieces for students; others were major concert works. One work which became internationally famous was Valley of Rocks, composed in 1975. The piece itself was inspired by discovering the Valley of Rocks in North Devon in the UK the previous year, but its international fame stems from the fact that it was one of seven Australian works submitted to the competitors in the 1988 Sydney International Piano Competition. 23 of the 38 competitors chose it as their Australian work, and Hyde herself recorded it in 1991 at the age of 78.

1. allegro moderato
2.andante tranquilo . 9"33
3. allegro con brio. 16"05

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