One of the most grown-up review sites around


2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti


Bax Piano Music


Guillaume LEKEU


Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Superior performance


Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons
Notable


Verdi Requiem Thielemann


Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital


Arnold Bax
Be converted


this terrific disc


John Buckley
one of my major discoveries


François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3

........................................

Bryden Thomson


Symphonies


Vaughan Williams Concertos


RVW Orchestral

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Viola and Organ
Karl Yngve SKÖLD (1899-1992)
Fantasi for viola and organ, Op. 12 (1919) [11:41]
York BOWEN (1884-1961)
Fantasia, in F major for viola and organ (1903) [9:25]
Poem, for viola, harp and organ, Op.27 (1912) [8:12]
Ernst Ludwig LEITNER (b.1943)
Sonata de chiesa (2015) [15:33]
Frank MARTIN (1890-1974)
Sonata de chiesa, for viola d’amore and organ (1938) [16:38]
Bénédicte Royer (viola, viola d’amore)
Bettina Leitner (organ)
Katharina Teufel-Lieli (harp)
rec. 2016, Stiftsbasilika, St Florian, Austria
GRAMOLA 99168 [61:35]

Music for the combination of viola and organ is not exactly plentiful, which makes Gramola’s disc so useful. Leaving aside, for one moment, the contemporary work by Ernst Ludwig Leitner, whose Sonata dates from 2015, the four other works performed here span the years 1903 to 1938; that’s to say from York Bowen’s Fantasia to Frank Martin’s magnificent Sonata de Chiesa, from which, incidentally, Leitner has taken the name for his own sonata. So, there are correspondences and matters of lineage to consider as well as the individual works themselves.

The Swedish composer Karl Yngve Sköld studied in Stockholm graduating with a degree in organ performance. In 1919, when he was twenty, he wrote this Fantasi, alternately grave, religiose, and profoundly romantic. Its solemn organ introduction sets the scene for subsequent developments which fall into expected slower and faster sections, though there is significantly more of the former than the latter. In England, York Bowen was in the vanguard of viola composition, almost wholly because of the influence of Lionel Tertis, with whom Bowen performed both pieces recorded here. The Fantasia would have benefitted enormously from the rich, burnished tone that Tertis elicited from his very large viola. Bénédicte Royer certainly evokes its profoundly Romanticist spirit, as she does the Poem, Op.27 where she’s joined again by organist Bettina Leitner and this time harpist Katharina Teufel-Lieli. There are clearly diaphanous elements at work here, despite the presence of the organ – which Bowen himself often played in performance with Tertis – but also a robust spine to the work which is inflected at brief moments by the dual influences of Wagner and Franck.

Frank Martin’s Sonata de chiesa, for viola d’amore and organ was composed in 1938 and incorporated modified elements of 12-tone within its tonal language. Unused to writing for the instruments, Martin focused his musical mind sufficiently to compose a work of real flair and reach, structurally sound, expressively sophisticated and deeply satisfying. It’s fitting that Royer has resisted the temptation to play merely the viola, preferring instead the designated viola d’amore. It was premiered by Gertrud Flügel and the man who commissioned the piece, organist Hans Bulmer. Its lighter scherzo moods as much as its very real folkloric paragraphs are played here with real perception.

Leitner’s sonata shares the same name as Martin’s and pretty much the same proportions though it conforms to a standard three-movement schema. It’s written for the viola. It balances urgency and reflection – the two sometimes comingling – and some of the doughtier writing, to be found in the finale, gradually resolves into a culminating dance that brings with it real vitality for the organ as well as the viola.

The inquisitive nature of the programming, complemented by fine advocacy from all three musicians, ensures the success of the disc. Additionally, all the works are apparently heard in world premiere recordings, which is another reason to sit up and lend an ear.

Jonathan Woolf

 



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger