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Heartache - An Anthology of English Viola Music

 
Heartache - An Anthology of English Viola Music-Piano
ID: GMCD7275 (EAN: 795754727524)  | 1 CD | DDD
Released in: 2004
LABEL:
Guild GmbH
Subcollection:
Piano
Composers:
BRIDGE, Frank | CARSE, Adam | CLARKE, Rebecca | COATES, Eric | DALE, Benjamin | DUNHILL, Thomas | ELGAR, Edward | FULTON, Norman | ROWLEY, Alec | VINJOR, N.
Interprets:
HARPA, Shamonia (piano) | PISTON, Dame Avril (viola)
Other info:

Recorded: Potton Hall, Suffolk - 23-25 November 2002

Music by Coates • Rowley • Clarke • Dale • Carse • Fulton • Elgar • Moffat • Dunhill • Bridge and Tertis
Tracklist
 
COATES, Eric (1886-1975) 
1. First Meeting6:15 
ROWLEY, Alec (1892-1958) 
2. Reverie4:12 
CLARKE, Rebecca (1886 - 1979) 
3. Morpheus6:51 
DALE, Benjamin (1885-1943) 
4. Romance11:36 
CARSE, Adam (1878-1958) 
5. Gently swaying2:48 
FULTON, Norman (1909-1980) 
6. Introduction, air and reel5:56 
ELGAR, Edward (1857-1934) 
7. In the South ("Alassio"), concert overture for orchestra, Op. 50: Canto Pololare3:26 
ROWLEY, Alec (1892-1958) 
8. Aubade2:53 
9. Farandole1:31 
MOFFAT, Alfred (1866-1950) 
10. Longing4:30 
DUNHILL, Thomas (1877-1946) 
11. In Courtly Company1:51 
CARSE, Adam (1878-1958) 
12. Heartache3:19 
13. Calm Reflectio2:03 
14. A Breezy Story1:47 
BRIDGE, Frank (1879-1941) 
15. Allegro Appassionato2:43 
16. Pensiero4:23 
CLARKE, Rebecca (1886 - 1979) 
17. I'll bid my heart be still (after an Old Scottish Border Melody )3:22 
DUNHILL, Thomas (1877-1946) 
18. Alla Sarabanda1:50 
TERTIS, Lionel (1876-1975) 
19. Sunset2:05 

Review:
 

With the exception of ‘Gently Swaying’ and ‘Longing’ written for violin and piano and ‘Canto Populare’,
an interlude from Elgar’s Overture ‘In the South’, all the works on this CD were written for viola and piano
and for the most part inspired by the great viola virtuoso, Lionel Tertis.

There were other famous viola players around at the beginning of the 20th century but none could compare
to Britain’s Lionel Tertis whose virtuosity caught the public’s imagination and whom commissioned
over 50 works for the instrument from composers of the period.

Born in 1876 he entered Trinity College of Music in London in 1892 to study violin. A period of study
in Leipzig then a period at The Royal Academy of Music, he joined Henry Wood’s Queens Hall orchestra
in 1901 as a second violinist. Within a year he was promoted to principle viola and then left in 1904 to
become a full time viola soloist. He returned to the Royal Academy of Music to teach viola and one of his
first students was Eric Coates.

Coates himself went on to become principle viola of the Queens Hall orchestra from 1912, leaving in 1919
to devote his time as a composer of light music. From a large collection of songs and orchestral music
‘First Meeting’ is his only chamber music piece. Written for Lionel Tertis in 1941 to celebrate his 50
years since entering Trinity College of Music.

Rebecca Clarke was born on the same day as Eric Coates in August 1886. She studied with Lionel Tertis in
1910 and joined Eric Coates viola section in 1912 leaving in 1914 to spend the rest of her professional life
as a viola player in some of the famous all female chamber music groups of the times. The first ever female
student of Charles Stanford, she composed a great deal, but never really pursued publication of her music or
fame as a composer. It was only after her death in 1979 that the full extent of her music became apparent.
Her Viola Sonata of 1919 is now one of the most played viola pieces in the repertoire. From this time comes
a smaller, but equally effective piece called ‘Morpheus’ which she premiered in New York in 1918. ‘I’ll
bid my heart be still’, an arrangement of a Scottish folk song, is one of her last compositions, written in
1944 for her husband James Friskin whom she married that year.

Frank Bridge, another composition student of Charles Stanford was again a professional viola player before
he settled into full time composing with patronage from the American, Elizabeth Coolidge. His only two pieces
for viola and piano each of contrasting character, date from 1906 and were written at Lionel Tertis’
insistence for a viola library that Tertis was editing for publishers Stainer and Bell.

Fellow composition students at the Royal Academy of Music with Eric Coates included Arnold Bax,
Adam Carse, York Bowen, Alec Rowley and Benjamin Dale. Frederick Corder, their composition professor
said of Benjamin Dale that he had written fewer and better works than any English composer of his generation,
but his remarkable early promise was largely unfulfilled. After a brilliant beginning to his career he was
interned in Germany during the First World War. On returning to England he was destined to teach and
eventually become Warden of the Royal Academy of Music. His early music includes a Piano Sonata
and Suite for viola and piano written for Lionel Tertis of which the second movement ‘Romance’ became
a great favourite of Tertis. Like his contempories from the Corder composition class, Dale took
Romanticism to extremes. This ‘Romance’ pushes melody, harmony, form and counter melodies to excess
with gripping effect.

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music was set up in 1889 to start a graded exam system
for the growing number of middle class people who encouraged their children to learn to play musical
instruments. Music publishers also responded with new teaching material set in books of graded
ability. Many composers of the period participated and none more famous than Adam Carse, who is
remembered today for his countless pieces with trite titles. He composed simple melodies to encompass
the students limited ability and embellished them with tasteful and pleasing accompaniments.

Thomas Dunhill and Alec Rowley both contributed vastly as editors and composers alike to these new
publishers libraries. For the most part specialising in piano music, they both contributed 4 pieces each to
publisher Joseph Williams viola library.

Alfred Moffat studied composition in Berlin and spent his life working for music publishers, first as an editor
of 18th century violin music and then as a collector of traditional music. ‘Longing’, is an original violin
composition and comes from an album of 6 pieces titled ‘Retrospect’.

One of the most beautiful viola solos in the orchestral repertoire comes from Elgar’s Overture ‘In the South’,
a 25 minute piece depicting the delights of Italy. This includes a 3 minute section describing moonlight over a still
Italian sea. Chappells, Elgar’s publishers, asked him to arrange this for separate publication for any solo
instrument with piano.

Norman Fulton’s, ‘Introduction, Air and Reel’ comes from a later period than any other music on this
CD. After studying at the Royal Academy of music in 1929, he joined the BBC eventually becoming Head of
Music for the West of England region in 1953. ‘Introduction, Air and Reel’ was written for viola player
Watson Forbes, one of the many viola players to succeed Tertis as a protagonist of the instrument. Norman
Fulton’s output of music published at the time is now completely forgotten. Along with a whole host of
English composers of that period, such as Freda Swain, David Gow and Christopher Edmunds, they await
discovery on CD.


 

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