English Viola Music: Bowen, Bridge, Dale | C-AVI AVI8553173

English Viola Music: Bowen, Bridge, Dale


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Label: C-AVI

Cat No: AVI8553173

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 13th April 2018



Violist Gernot Adrion and pianist Yuki Inagawa perform a selection of rarely recorded English viola music by York Bowen, Frank Bridge and Benjamin Dale.

Even frequent concertgoers will find it difficult to imagine what to expect under the heading “English viola music”. A few symphonic works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten have found an established place in the concert repertoire; violists also know William Walton’s concerto. Other composers of the British Isles, however, have remained somewhat neglected, such as York Bowen (1884-1961), Benjamin Dale (1885-1943) or Frank Bridge (1879-1941). These three, featured on this CD, belong to a generation of musicians who centred their activities around London toward the turn of the century and ushered in a new period blending Late Romanticism with Classical Modernism.

All three of them had a particular penchant for the viola’s dark and melancholy timbre: the viola could serve as the perfect musical correlate to the fin-de-siècle mood that had taken over the minds and hearts of so many artists, authors and intellectuals. Bowen’s Sonata, Dale’s Phantasy and the six pieces by Bridge all stem from the period between 1901 and 1910 – a time when the first composers on the Continent were starting to eschew major/minor tonality. Until then, the viola had been completely overshadowed by other solo instruments.

Gernot Adrion has held the post of Assistant Principal Viola in Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1996. Since 2006 he has been playing together with Susanne Herzog and Hans-Jakob Eschenburg in the Gideon Klein Trio, an ensemble devoted to string trio repertoire from the Early Baroque to the 20th century. Since 2012 he has formed a piano/viola duo with Yuki Inagawa.

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