Perhaps no composer embodied the new spirit of comradeship and collaboration between England and France more enthusiastically than the Bradford-born, Paris-domiciled Frederick Delius. His Sonata in B major offers a becoming portrait of the then 30-year-old composer; youthfully dramatic with a growing virtuosity and vigour that makes it seem, as Robert Matthew-Walker notes in his erudite booklet notes, like the “extended and manifestly symphonic composition” it is.
Composed at the same age, John Ireland’s breakthrough First Violin Sonata combines Edwardian elegance with a hint of French Impressionism gleaned from Debussy – whose late, last Violin Sonata in G minor is a work of profoundly-expressed emotions – and Ravel, whose Pièce en forme de habanera is hauntingly memorable.
While resident in Paris in the early years of the last century, Cyril Scott enjoyed cordial relations with Ravel and Debussy, who particularly admired his music. His Valse Caprice and arrangement of Cherry Ripe infuse well-mannered salon pieces with lithe French elegance. Similarly so, Arnold Bax’s ever-popular picture-postcard Mediterranean in its vivacious arrangement by Jascha Heifetz.
Clare Howick and Simon Callaghan’s British Violin Sonatas (SOMMCD 0610) was hailed by MusicWeb International as a “fascinating collection of works, expertly performed with unalloyed musicality and commitment”. The Strad remarked it offered “gems from British composers captured by an outstanding violin and piano duo”.
Partnered by Hiroaki Takenouchi, Simon Callaghan’s two-volume survey of Delius’ orchestral music arranged for two pianos (SOMMCD 0112 and 0129) were described by MusicWeb International as “magnificent” and “fine performances of often elusive music”.
On This Recording
Frederick Delius: Violin Sonata in B major, Op. posth
- I Allegro con brio
- II Andante molto tranquillo
- III Allegro con moto
- Cherry Ripe “For Fritz Kreisler”
- Valse Caprice arr. A.W. Kramer*
- I Allegro Vivo
- II Intermède: Fantasque et léger
- III Finale: Très animé
- Pièce en forme de habanera (arr. Jascha Heifetz)
- I Allegro leggiardo
- II Romance: In tempo sostenuto, quasi adagio
- III Rondo: Allegro sciolto assai
- Mediterranenan ()arr. Jascha Heifetz)
Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata in G minor
John Ireland: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor
* First Recording