Paul Coletti, Leslie Howard - English Music for Viola (2001)

Paul Coletti, Leslie Howard - English Music for Viola (2001)

Artist: Paul Coletti, Leslie Howard
Title: English Music for Viola
Year Of Release: 2001
Label: Hyperion
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)
Total Time: 66:51
Total Size: 276 Mb

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
[1] Elegy for solo viola
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
[2] Romance
Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)
[3] Lullaby No.1
[4] Morpheus
Percy Grainger (1882-1961)
[5] The Sussex Mummer's Christmas Carol
[6] Arrival Platform Humlet for solo viola
Arnold Bax (1883-1953)
[7] Legend
Frank Bridge (1879-1941)
[8] Pensiero
[9] Allegro appassionato
Rebecca Clarke
[10]-[12] Viola Sonata
Paul Coletti viola
Leslie Howard piano
This CD was initially recorded in 1993 and was reissued in 2001. That is fortunate for those of us who missed it the first time around, for Paul Coletti has produced one of the finest recorded examples of viola playing to be found. Coupled with the sensitive and thoughtful piano playing of Leslie Howard, this makes for benchmark renditions of these musical gems. Hyperion's sound is gorgeous and perfectly balanced throughout. The listener is drawn into the music making, with all its expressive and tonal nuances.
The Rebecca Clarke Sonata, for many years out of print, is stunning for its technical and emotional range, especially given the fact that it was written in 1919 and by a woman violist. The classical music world is thankfully quite different today, but there was a time when female composers or performers could be counted on one hand. When the sonata begins with the rhythmic motive "Re-bec-ca Clarke" marked 'Allegro impetuoso', one can imagine her playing her own piece and simultaneously announcing her arrival as a violist and a composer. Coletti manages to make the movement (as well as the entire piece) sound powerful yet, dare I say, feminine, without macho bravura. The 2nd movement, Scherzo, taken at breakneck speed, is a stunning display of technical proficiency and easily qualifies as the equal of any recorded violin performance. The 3rd movement incorporates modal and `olde English' musical references, drawing to a triumphant close. The return of the sonata's initial theme is now a confident self-affirmation, admirably played by the two performers.
Frank Bridge's two pieces are given seamless execution, hiding the fact that they are extraordinarily difficult. Listening to the end of Allegro Appassionato, you are not aware of shifts and bow-changes, only the musical line. The Percy Grainger pieces cannot be considered great music, but are played faultlessly by Coletti, which is the mark of a true artist. The Vaughn-Williams Romance is simply beautiful, as are the remaining pieces on this outstanding CD. All are played with a beautiful sound, flawless intonation, and impeccable musicianship.

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