Time for some more
superlatives. In fact time to dust down
the critical thesaurus for Monica Huggett
and her confreres in Sonnerie for their
second volume of the Rosary Sonatas.
See my review of Volume
1 for specifics because I haven’t
much usefully to add.
As before she is consistently
quicker than a recent rival such as
and this is not just a matter of his
more resonant acoustic. Their approaches
to drama and line do differ. Her attacca/lyric
distinctions in The Crucifixion (No.11)
are impressive – there is real colour
in the variations and a sense of drive.
The organ (Matthew Halls) is deployed
with sensitivity in the Resurrection.
The cumulative lyricism of the Surrexit
Christus Hodie is wonderful with the
viola da gamba adding texture; the concluding
Adagio is limpid and affecting. The
cimbalom-like effect of the harpsichord
gives colour, texture and a sense of
strangeness tinged with folk sonority
to The Ascension. In a movement such
as this Pavlo Beznosiuk is a full two
minutes slower as he strives to give
expressive meaning and depth to such
The fine, stinging
attacks of The Assumption (No.14) are
augmented by the colour of harp and
guitar and there is great gravity and
elegance with just violin and organ
essaying The Coronation of the Virgin.
The great and concluding Passacaglia
is quite slow – on a par with Beznosiuk
– and like his performance subject to
some metrical elasticity. I tend to
prefer a more direct and linear reading
but this one is assuredly sensitive.
The sound quality in
St Silas’s Kentish Town is warm and
not too ambient. As before the movements
are not, regrettably, separately banded.
And since when do we spell it Resurrextion
or Crucifixtion, come to that? There’s
no need for affectation of that kind
when the playing is so fine.