Roy Agnew (1891–1944) developed a distinctive individual voice in his piano music. Virtuosic and naturally idiomatic, the style of his piano music ranges from charming pedagogical pieces in the English pastoral manner, to more advanced works in which his harmonic language and form draw on the influece of Liszt, Skryabin and Debussy. Naturally appealing to audiences, his music was taken up by the Russian pianist Benno Moisiewitsch during a trip to Sydney, leading to the publication of some work by the London publishing company Chester. His performance, compositional and recording career developed jointly in Australia and the UK and in 1944 he was appointed to the staff of the N.S.W State Conservatorium of Music though died before being able to take up the position.

This new disc examines music from across his life including many first recordings (marked *)

Rhapsody (1928)*

Toccata (1933)

Two Pieces for Piano (1931)*

  • Whither
  • Exaltation

Three Preludes (1927)*

A Dance Impression (1927)*

Drifting Mists (1931)

Sonata (1929)

Etude (1924)*

Three Poems (1927)*

Sonata Poème (1929 completed 1935)

Three Lyrics (1927)*

  • The Falling Snow
  • A Quest
  • The Happy Lad

Elf Dance: Etude (1928)*

A May Day (1927)*

Australian Forest Pieces (1913)*

  • No 1 Gnome Dance
  • No 2 When Evening Shadows Fall
  • No 3 Forest Nymphs at Play
  • No 4 A Night in the Forest
  • No 5 By a Quiet Stream
  • No 6 The Forest Grandeur