Arthur Benjamin - Violin Sonatina, Viola Sonata
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Cat No: CDA67969
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 2nd June 2014
WorksA Tune and Variations for Little People
From San Domingo
Jamaican Rumba (arr. Primrose)
Le Tombeau de Ravel: Valse-Caprice
Pieces (3) for violin and piano
ArtistsLawrence Power (violin, viola)
Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano)
Lawrence Power is Britainís greatest living viola player, the true successor to Lionel Tertis and William Primrose. Part of his mission is to perform and record music premiered by those masters of the previous century, including works by York Bowen, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Dale, William Walton and, here, Arthur Benjamin.
Benjamin was one of the first Australian musicians to forge an international reputation. His creative output, which encompasses about eighty works altogether, manifests a great variety of idioms and genres. It includes a good number of light-music miniatures, many of them infused with a jazz or Afro-Caribbean flavour: the most famous of these is the Jamaican Rumba which concludes this album.
This album represents something of a departure for Lawrence Powerís recording career: he performs Benjaminís Violin Sonatina on the violin. This ambitious, virtuosic and formidably accomplished work is not at all diminutive - perhaps the lack of a slow movement was felt to debar it from full sonata status.
Benjaminís Viola Sonata is a wartime piece, with a first movement of dark foreboding. It manifests a spiritual affinity with the large-scale and often elegiac Symphony that Benjamin was about to begin composing, and it contains the bleakest and perhaps the most deeply felt music on the present album. It is an impressive, powerful and virtuosic work, with many technical challenges, all of which Lawrence scales with his usual astonishing prowess.
1Benjamin (A): Violin Sonatina - 1. Tranquilly Flowing
2Benjamin (A): Violin Sonatina - 2. Scherzo Di Stile Antico
3Benjamin (A): Violin Sonatina - 3. Rondo: Con Moto Ma Non Allegro
4Benjamin (A): 3 Pieces For Violin & Piano - #1 Arabesque (The Muted Pavane)
5Benjamin (A): 3 Pieces For Violin & Piano - #2 Carnavalesque: Tempo Di Valse
6Benjamin (A): 3 Pieces For Violin & Piano - #3 Humouresque: Non Troppo Allegro
7Benjamin (A): A Tune & Variations For Little People
8Benjamin (A): Le Tombeau De Ravel
9Benjamin (A): Viola Sonata - 1. Elegy: Adagio & Mesto
10Benjamin (A): Viola Sonata - 2. Waltz: Quasi Improvisatore
11Benjamin (A): Viola Sonata - 3. Toccata: Allegro Ma Non Troppo
12Benjamin (A): From San Domingo
13Benjamin (A)/Primrose: Jamaican Rumba
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