English Violin Duos | NMC Recordings NMCD182

English Violin Duos


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Label: NMC Recordings

Cat No: NMCD182

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 24th September 2012



"Inspired by our long friendships with both the composers John McCabe and David Matthews, we decided that it would be fitting to make our first recording of British works for two violins. We drew this collection together starting with two major works: the Rawsthorne Theme and Variations and the Moeran Sonata for Two Violins.

We love both the display of academic brilliance and invention in the Theme and Variations and also the warmth and vitality of Moeran in his Sonata. The stunning Spielend by John McCabe epitomises the relationship of a duo – part duel, part chase, and is great fun to perform.

David Matthews’ Eight Duos reveals a beautiful array of instrumental colour. He refers to the English pastoral tradition directly but later denies any comfort this temporarily offers with his aggressive ‘Contra-Pastoral’. We feel a real connection with his language and identify strongly with the ‘English’ mood that emerges throughout.

provides an exotic evocation of the life on the Mongolian steppe and it was the wild beauty of the region’s landscape and climate that propelled Jim Aitchison’s musical demands.

Although the tiny and playful Croft Sonata is clearly an odd man out, we have had enormous pleasure delving into the collections of the British Library, and this piece represents our glance backwards for a moment to the quality of duo writing in the eighteenth century that unknowingly paved the way for these magnificent contemporary composers we are privileged enough to work with today." - Retorica

Philippa and Harriet met at the Royal Academy of Music, London and discovered a shared passion for contemporary music as well as the wealth of rarely heard repertoire for two violins.

- Philippa Mo, violin
- Harriet Mackenzie, violin
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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