EMR CD007–8 | DETAILS
  EMR CD007–8
   
  Viola Sonatas: IDYLLS AND BACCHANALS
  Louise Williams (va & vn) | David Owen Norris (pf)
   
  Released 1 October 2012 | EAN 5 060263 500070
David Owen Norris returns to EM Records with the violist and violinist Louise Williams in a double-disc set of works by Bax, Jacob, Leighton, Maconchy, McEwen, Milford and Rawsthorne. The title closely describes the repertoire: three pieces actually called ‘Sonata’, plus a Sonatina and a Fantasia whose four sections reflect the movements of a Sonata. Something, too, about the character of the combination of viola and piano seems to have driven the composers in question to extremes of expression – hence the subtitle.
TRACK LISTING AND AUDIO EXTRACTS
     

CD1

     
Sir John McEwen (1868–1948)
SONATA IN A MINOR FOR VIOLA AND PIANO
   
1. I. Largo – Poco allegro  
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2. II. Andante espressivo  
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3. III. Allegretto  
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4. IV. Molto vivace  
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Sir Arnold Bax (1883–1953)
SONATA FOR VIOLA AND PIANO
   
5. I. Molto moderato – Allegro  
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6. II. Allegro energico  
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7. III. Molto lento  
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Sir John McEwen
‘IMPROVISATIONS PROVENÇALES’ FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO
8. The Heavy Heart (‘Lou Couar Gros’)  
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9. Au Petit Saint Jean  
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10. The Old Trees Remember (‘Les Vieux Platanes’)  
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11. A Little Rhapsody (‘Rapsodie du Felibre’)  
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12. Oouliveio (Song of one who gathers olives fallen from the trees)  
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13. The Piper (‘Lou Galoubet’)  
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14. ‘BREATH O’ JUNE’ FOR VIOLA AND PIANO  
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CD2

       
Elizabeth Maconchy (1907–1994)
SONATA FOR VIOLA AND PIANO
 
1. I. Allegro  
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2. II. Lento moderato  
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3. III. Presto  
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Gordon Jacob (1895–1984)
SONATINA FOR VIOLA AND PIANO
 
4. I. Allegro giusto  
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5. II. Andante espressivo  
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6. III. Allegro con brio  
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Alan Rawsthorne (1905–1971)
SONATA FOR VIOLA AND PIANO
 
7. I. Maestoso – Molto allegro  
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8. II. Scherzo (Presto non assai)  
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9. III. Adagio  
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10. IV. Rondo (Allegro commodo)  
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Robin Milford (1903–1959)
FOUR PIECES FOR VIOLA AND PIANO, op.42
 
11. Air  
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12. Musette  
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13. Serenade  
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14. Gavot  
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Kenneth Leighton (1929–1988)
FANTASIA ON THE NAME BACH
 
15. Adagio sostenuto – Allegro ritmico – Chorale (Lento) –
Fugue (Allegro molto ritmico)
 
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REVIEWS
Beautifully shaped by Benjamin Frith... Beguiling sounds, graced by the tawny richness and unexaggerated line of Richard Jenkinson’s cello playing... The sense of purpose and sureness of line of Ian Venables’ music is pure oxygen.
EMR CD31 | BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Exquisitely rewarding... Ravishing accounts.
EMR CD029 | CHOIR AND ORGAN
This is music of great beauty and integrity and the performances fully do it justice. It would be criminal to let it pass you by.

EMR CD028 | INTERNATIONAL
RECORD REVIEW

The Bridge Quartet approach these pieces with a sympathetic and insightful warmth, and confirm their ambassadorial credentials for British chamber music. A lovely, radiant disc.
EMR CD025 | Gramophone
Duncan Honeybourne’s playing is astonishingly affectionate, yet never saccharine... Honeybourne plays with suave confidence.
EMR CD024 | INTERNATIONAL PIANO
Rupert Marshall-Luck is an ideal interpreter: generously but not effusively lyrical; agile and athletic... The warm, folk-song like slow movement is at times almost painfully beautiful, with a shimmering pastoral central section... Marshall-Luck is, again, indefatigable and keenly picks up on the work’s melancholic strain.  Finely recorded and with comprehensive booklet notes, this is a must for fans of 20th-century English repertoire.
EMR CD023 | THE STRAD