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Julian Dawes: Sonata For Violin & Piano; Sonatina For French Horn And Piano; Elegie For Violin & Piano And Others

Dawes / Johnson / Stirling / Rosefield
Release Date: 05/08/2012 
Label:  Omnibus Classics   Catalog #: 15004   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Julian Dawes
Performer:  Matthew TruslerGordon BackStephen StirlingGemma Rosefield,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

DAWES Sonata for Violin and Piano. 4,5 Sonatina for French Horn and Piano 2,5. Elegie for Violin and Piano. 4,5 Sonata for Cello and Piano. 3,5 Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano 1,5 1 Emma Johnsonn (cl); 2 Stephen Stirling Read more (hn); 3 Gemma Rosefeld (vc); 4 Matthew Trusler (vn); 5 Gordon Back (pn) OMNIBUS 5004 (62:04)

Composer Julian Dawes is well known in the United Kingdom, where he has written a hit musical, The Braddocks Time , as well as a number of concert pieces. His music is distinctively English, although composers of the past whose music has influenced it include Shostakovich and Weill as well as Walton, Howells, and Rodney Bennett. Dawes’s craftsmanship is first-class and his music refreshing. Welsh pianist Gordon Back, who has accompanied many of the world’s most famous violinists in performance and on recordings, plays Dawes’s Sonata for Violin and Piano with violinist Matthew Trusler. A frequent soloist with major symphony orchestras, Trusler plays a 1711 Stradivarius. The restrained music of the Sonata’s first movement suggests an English garden in a gentle rain. While the violin soars above with myriad pastel tone colors, the piano accompanies with the muted tones of a spring shower. In the second movement, the piano begins with a charming lyrical theme that is answered by the violin. The dialogue continues with richer, more elaborate variations that lead up to the third movement. The final Rondo begins with an energetic Klezmer-inspired folk dance that is eventually transformed into the more subtle musical work that ends this most expressive sonata. Dawes’s Elegie shows a very different side of this versatile composer. It is a plaintive but polished piece that is designed to remember those who have passed on and to bring comfort to the bereaved.

Stephen Stirling, the hornist in the Sonatina for Horn and Piano, is a principal horn with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the City of London Sinfonia. He plays with Gordon Back, whose exquisite pianism is heard on each of the selections on this disc. The Sonata opens with a lighthearted, jazzy theme that sets the scene for a star turn by the horn. In contrast, the second movement is quiet and reflective, as the horn sings a melody over the piano’s soft arpeggios and rhythmic textures. Stirling’s legato is as smooth as chocolate crème. For the final Allegro , Dawes gives us another folk tune that makes his listeners want to get up and dance. Although cellist Gemma Rosefield is a new British talent, she is definitely one to watch for the future. Dawes’s Sonata for Cello and Piano was written for her. She and Back play its wide-ranging, free-flowing lyrical passages with surging but well-contained passion. Clarinetist Emma Johnson has recently been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). A busy musician with a solo career, not only is she known for her work with classical music, but also for her contributions to jazz, blues, and klezmer. She brings out the bright colors of the craggy passages in which the clarinet leaps over the undulating piano part in the Clarinet Sonata. The contrasting slow movement allows the clarinet to play a lyrical song over simple piano arpeggios before returning to the original theme from the first movement. The sound on this disc is excellent and the listener can hear the special overtones of each instrument that are sometimes lost in sound reproduction.

FANFARE: Maria Nockin
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for violin & piano by Julian Dawes
Performer:  Matthew Trusler (Violin), Gordon Back (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: England 
Length: 14 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Sonatina for french horn & piano by Julian Dawes
Performer:  Stephen Stirling (French Horn), Gordon Back (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: England 
Length: 12 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Elegie for violin & piano (or string orchestra) by Julian Dawes
Performer:  Matthew Trusler (Violin), Gordon Back (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: England 
Length: 10 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Sonata for cello & piano by Julian Dawes
Performer:  Gemma Rosefield (Cello), Gordon Back (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: England 
Length: 14 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Sonatina for clarinet & piano by Julian Dawes
Performer:  Emma Johnson (Clarinet), Gordon Back (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: England 
Length: 9 Minutes 25 Secs. 

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