One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor in Chief: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

 

  • Groundbreaking Weber
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Groundbreaking Weber

MWI RECORDING
OF THE YEAR


CD review L Wright
BBC Prom
CBSO Birmingham

MWI Editor In Chief
Recording of the Year


Orchestral Music


music that will please greatly


Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear


vital imagination


Henrik HELLSTENIUS
A harum-scarum springboard


Always expect the unexpected

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for 12 postage paid world-wide.

Douglas LILBURN (1915-2001)
Violin Sonata (1950) [14:30]
Allegro Concertante (1944 rev 1945) [14:22]
Violin Sonata in E flat (1943 rev 1984) [24:10]
Violin Sonata in C (1943 ed 1983, rev 1986) [25:21]
Justine Cormack (violin)
Michael Houstoun (piano)
rec. 2012, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato, New Zealand
ATOLL ACD913 [78:52]

The disc advertises Douglas Lilburn’s ‘duos’ for violin and piano because there are three sonatas and an Allegro Concertante. They date from 1943-50 – the notes and track details actually differ by a year with a claimed date of 1942 for the earliest of the sonatas - though the earliest sonatas were revised in the mid-1980s. The only work to have been published is the 1950 Sonata.

The New Zealander’s studies with Vaughan Williams inform much of the music The Sonata in E flat is bright, optimistic and has a lingering, singing, thoughtful B section. Amidst the lyric reserve of the central movement there are tauter, though hardly astringent moments, whilst the finale is spacious, playful, and rather delightfully terpsichorean. Lilburn’s studies with VW had ended in 1939 and he was back in Christchurch by then and as he was a pianist, he sought out various string players. One of them was Maurice Clare, a very fine player by all accounts, who premiered the Sonata in C which is cast in four movements. There are playful exchanges between the two instruments, some folksy elements, and a lively scherzo before the rather hymnal slow movement and a finale that balances lyric and tensile maters nicely. He was to follow the sonatas with the Allegro Concertante. The imposing title announces a broad quarter-of-an-hour work with a typically demanding Lilburnian piano part and plenty of rewarding melodic writing for the violin. There’s a witty cadential passage too and a strong degree of panache in the conclusion. There was a five or six year gap until the Sonata of 1950, a single-movement work whose long-breathed lyricism, fresh singing lines and folk hues, grant it a pleasing distinction. Material is well distributed, in fact, between violin and piano, and Lilburn has the courage to end quietly. Presumably he had Clare still in mind, though the notes, which are enthusiastic, don’t delve into too much detail.

This is another valuable disc that honours Lilburn by performing his music with unselfconscious generosity. Justine Cormack and Michael Houstoun are admirable advocates. The recording is generally well-judged though there are times when the piano spectrum can be somewhat harsh. It does little to dampen pleasure in the performances.

Jonathan Woolf



 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Editor in Chief
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger