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Clarke: Viola Sonata, Dumka, Etc / Dukes, Rahman, Et Al

Release Date: 01/30/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557934   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Rebecca Clarke
Performer:  Philip DukesSophia RahmanDaniel HopeRobert Plane
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

After more than a half-century of undeserved neglect following its publication in 1919, Rebecca Clarke's excellent Viola Sonata was reborn in 1976 and in recent years has been fairly well-treated on disc. Here is another fine performance that impressively captures this work's bold statements (the opening), warm lyricism (the Adagio), and "impressionistic" moments (the reflective passages of the "Impetuoso") with generous, resonant tone and affectingly nuanced expressive technique. This really is one of the great 20th-century sonatas and certainly one of the jewels of viola repertoire.

With two exceptions, the other works in this collection are relatively minor if uniformly appealing creations for viola and
Read more piano. The short but clever Chinese Puzzle is a catchy, delightful confection, and Untitled Piece (a world-premiere) is memorable for its reflective mood and Debussy-like, whole-tone-colored melody. But Dumka, which adds a violin to the viola/piano mix, is a substantial (10-minute), well-developed piece in the rich romantic style of Dvorák, and the Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale is an unusual--and very successful--marriage of viola and clarinet that exploits both the darker, reedier qualities and bright, singing upper registers of the two instruments.

All the players here make convincing advocates for Clarke's too-rarely-heard music, and besides Philip Dukes' solid and eminently, easily listenable viola performance, special mention must go to pianist Sophia Rahman for her unfailingly stylish accompaniments, especially in the sonata. Strongly recommended.

--David Vernier,
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Viola/Cello and Piano by Rebecca Clarke
Performer:  Philip Dukes (Viola), Sophia Rahman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; England 
Venue:  Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, Englan 
Length: 27 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Notes: Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, England (06/03/2004 - 06/05/2004) 
Dumka for Violin, Viola and Piano by Rebecca Clarke
Performer:  Sophia Rahman (Piano), Daniel Hope (Violin), Philip Dukes (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1941; USA 
Venue:  Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, Englan 
Length: 10 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, England (06/03/2004 - 06/05/2004) 
Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale for Viola and Clarinet by Rebecca Clarke
Performer:  Philip Dukes (Viola), Robert Plane (Clarinet)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; USA 
Venue:  Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, Englan 
Length: 6 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Notes: Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, England (06/03/2004 - 06/05/2004) 

Sound Samples

Viola Sonata: I. Impetuoso
Viola Sonata: II. Vivace
Viola Sonata: III. Adagio
Lullaby*: Lullaby
Lullaby*: Lullaby on an Ancient Irish Tune
Chinese Puzzle
I'll bid my heart be still
(Untitled): Untitled Piece for Viola and Piano
Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale: Prelude
Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale: Allegro
Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale: Pastorale

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