One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews

Love-violin-NI6428
Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 



alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

Rebecca CLARKE (1886-1979)
Viola Sonata (1919) [27:01]
Passacaglia (on an old English tune) (1941) [5:17]
Lullaby (1909) [4:37]
Lullaby on an Ancient Irish Tune (1913) [2:36]
Morpheus (1918) [7:18]
Chinese Puzzle (1921) [1:28]
Iíll bid my heart be still (c.1944) [3:32]
Untitled Piece for viola and piano (c.1918) [5:21]
Dumka (c.1941) [10:13] *
Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale (1941) [13:26] +
Philip Dukes (viola)
Sophia Rahman (piano) except the Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale
Daniel Hope (violin) *
Robert Plane (clarinet) +
rec. Concert Hall of Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, June 2004
NAXOS 8.557934 [78:54]

 


Now that Rebecca Clarkeís Viola Sonata has become popular itís available in performances at all price brackets. I have to say at the outset that this Dukes-Rahman performance features the most extended and metrically daring Impetuoso first movement Iíve ever heard. One doesnít want to judge a performance by the stopwatch but most duos will clock in at about 7:50. This one takes nearly eleven minutes. The conviction with which they present themes and their concentration is what ensures that the performance doesnít come off the rails. But itís this movement that will determine oneís appreciation of the performance. The Jackson-Roscoe team on ASV CD DCA 932 are altogether more central in their conception, similarly the Westphal-Swann team on Bridge 9109, to take just two of their competitors.

My own view is that the arresting immediacy that others bring is deliberately shunned by the Dukes-Rahman duo. The reflective becomes self-immersion† - and the modalities are not nearly as pronounced as they can be and arguably should be. One thingís for sure; when Clarke showed Lionel Tertis her sonata this is not how that Bratsch-tiger would have played it. The lyric episodes however do have a nervous tension that some will think convincing in a work written in 1919. The second and third movements are more conventional Ė maybe they sought to expand the contours of the first movement to balance the long finale?

The other works are a mix of familiar and less well known. The Passacaglia (on an old English tune) is quite direct, though not lacking in atmosphere or moving generosity. The Ponder-Jones pairing on Dutton CDLX7105 took more time, with arguably more effective results. The wan folkloric inflections of the early 1909 Lullaby are deftly observed whilst the stiffer Lullaby on an Ancient Irish Tune carries a more eerie charge altogether Ė quite a complex piece for so deceptively simple a title. Dukes and Rahman stretch out longer than Ponder and Jones in Morpheus Ė the lyric impressionisms of which work very well here.

The little pentatonic games of Chinese Puzzle last barely a minute and a half but interest never palls. Iíll bid my heart be still is a beautiful arrangement of a song that must have struck nostalgic associations in Clarkeís heart. The Untitled Piece for viola and piano is provisionally dated to 1918 and is rather beautiful. For the c.1941 Dumka Daniel Hope joins in. The work is evocative, reflective and lyrical but also encompasses a jig. Itís nothing like DvořŠk of course and a Dumka perhaps only in respect of its rapid emotive changeability.† The Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale with Robert Plane is heard to better effect on the rival Dutton disc where itís played with greater incision and speed, and which brings out the pastoral elements with more logic.

This makes for an attractive Clarke disc, very well played and recorded and at Naxosís tempting price range. The notes are excellent. But for the Viola Sonata I would opt for the Jackson-Roscoe ASV performance which is coupled with the Piano Trio and Amy Beachís Piano Quintet.

Jonathan Woolf

see also Review by Michael Cookson

British Composers on Naxos page

 

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 

 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.