Bax: Viola Sonata; Legend; Trio in One Movement; Concert Piece

Bax: Viola Sonata; Legend; Trio in One Movement; Concert Piece

by Julian Rolton
     
 

Like its larger brethren the double bass, the viola is often viewed as one of the awkward cousins of the string family when it comes to solo or chamber compositions. Instead, the viola is often relegated to the inner voices and focused on supporting rolls. While it's true that there have been plenty of sub-par compositions for the instrument, and there have been a… See more details below

Overview

Like its larger brethren the double bass, the viola is often viewed as one of the awkward cousins of the string family when it comes to solo or chamber compositions. Instead, the viola is often relegated to the inner voices and focused on supporting rolls. While it's true that there have been plenty of sub-par compositions for the instrument, and there have been a number of viola soloists whose sound is not completely flattering, neither is the case on this album. Composer Arnold Bax, who is usually more well known for his orchestral compositions, is highly gifted at writing to the strengths of the viola and suppressing the instrument's shortcomings. Likewise, violist Martin Outram produces an extremely satisfying sound. His playing on the G and C strings is robust and throaty without ever being muddy. Passages on the A string remain clear but never nasal, as can often be the case. Put these two components together and the result is very enjoyable chamber music CD. The two works on the album featuring violin are actually far less successful than the pieces for viola and piano. The "Sonata for viola and piano" rightly receives top billing; the writing for both instruments is highly idiomatic and plays to the strengths of the viola. The interplay between the musicians is seamless and balance is well adjusted (another problem area for the viola). For the sonata alone, this CD is definitely worthwhile.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/12/2006
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313278428
catalogNumber:
8557784
Rank:
225422

Tracks

  1. Sonata for viola & piano  - Arnold Bax  - Martin Outram  - Julian Rolton  - Laurence Gough
  2. Concert Piece (Fantasy), for violin or viola & piano  - Arnold Bax  - Martin Outram  - Julian Rolton  - Laurence Gough
  3. Legend, for viola & piano  - Arnold Bax  - Martin Outram  - Julian Rolton  - Laurence Gough
  4. Trio in One Movement, for piano, violin & viola (or clarinet), Op. 4  - Arnold Bax  - Laurence Jackson  - Martin Outram  - Julian Rolton  - Laurence Gough

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