Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


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Eugène GOOSSENS (1893-1962)
Violin Sonata No. 1 in E minor Op. 21 (1918) [23.40]
William HURLSTONE (1876-1906)

Violin Sonata in D minor (1896-97) [20.19]
Percy TURNBULL (1902-1978)

Violin Sonata in E minor (1925) [18.54]
Madeleine Mitchell (violin)
Andrew Ball (piano)
rec. 5-7 Aug 2002, Wathen Hall, St Paul's School, London DDD

Goossens often doused his melodies in harmonic fog. Here however he allows the lines to sing in a way akin to the two British master sonatas of the Great War - the second violin sonatas of Thomas Dunhill (recorded on Cala) and John Ireland (Chandos, Vienna Modern Masters and Hyperion). There are also macabre rustic japes in this music as in the final con brio.

Hurlstone died of pneumonia in 1906 - one of the lost great hopes of British music. His music might have basked in the enduring sunshine of those who die young but the Great War offered eclipsing tragedies that until the 1970s suffocated the Hurlstone cause. Now however there are three orchestral works on a Lyrita CD (plus two more when, if ever, Lyrita rises phoenix-like), a Metier collection as well as oddments dotted here and there throughout the catalogue. He is fresh in his Sonata with moments touching on Dvořák and Brahms. He manages to shrug off Victorian fustian and fixes his gaze on a pastoral horizon. The explosion at the end has all the lunging passion of the start of Howell 1917 Piano Quartet.

Turnbull's sonata, a product of his mid-1920s in Guildford, is a fulsomely lyrical piece with strong resonances of Ireland and Ravel. It reminded me also of the turbulent melos of both Howells in England and the still under-rated Bonnal in France. Of the three sonatas this is the most ecstatically straight-talking. This recording should be the spark for a Turnbull revival.

Madeleine Mitchell and Andrew Ball demonstrate all the required passion and emotional half-light commanded by these romantic pieces.

Surely Somm will not stop here. We need next a coupling of the sonatas by Cyril Rootham, Holbrooke (2nd Romantic and 3rd Orientale) and Goossens' Second of 1930. For later projects there are the sonatas by Isaacs, Coke and Dale.

The Turnbull and Hurlstone are world premiere recordings.

Good notes by Jeremy Dibble in English only.

Rob Barnett

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