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 andRead 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.
Sonata for Viola/Cello and Pianoby 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 Pianoby 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 Clarinetby 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)
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Stirring Performances, fine listeningJanuary 1, 2016By T. Vawter (Bellingham, WA)See All My Reviews"I recently heard an excellent young violist play Rebecca Clarke's Viola Sonata. His short preface to the piece characterized the struggle that she had to enter the almost exclusively male world of composers in the early 20th century. Thankfully she perservered and I would agree with the violists assessment that this is one of the finest showpieces for his instrument. This is an ensemble who play this music with skill and verve. I was already familiar with Phillip Dukes on Viola and Robert Plane on Clarinet but Sophia Rahman and Daniel Hope were certainly good in this performance. The other pieces are of interest here too and I will listen often to this collection."Report Abuse