Gernot Adrion & Yuki Inagawa – Bowen, Bridge & Dale: English Viola Music (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:05:27 minutes | 642 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © CAvi-music
Even frequent concertgoers will find it difficult to imagine what to expect under the heading “English viola music”. Works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten have found an established place in the Continental concert repertoire; violists also know William Walton’s concerto. Other composers of the British Isles, however, have remained unknown to the rest of Europe’s public in spite of their prolific output: names such as York Bowen (1884-1961), Benjamin Dale (1885-1943) or Frank Bridge (1879-1941) are among those ignored musicians, Bridge does appear in one of his students’ early works, i.e. Britten’s Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge, but that’s about all regarding his fame. These three, featured on this album, belong to a generation of musicians who centered their activities around London toward the turn of the century and ushered in a new period blending Late Romanticism with Classical Modernism.
All three of them had a particular penchant for the viola’s dark and melancholy timbre: the viola could serve as the perfect musical correlate to the fin-de-siècle mood that had taken over the minds and hearts of so many artists, authors and intellectuals. Bowen’s Sonata, Dale’s Phantasy and the six pieces by Bridge all stem from the period between 1901 and 1910 – a time when the first composers on the Continent were starting to eschew major/minor tonality, a tendency that would have to wait some extra time in ultra-conservative Britain ; the present pieces all belong to the late Romantic Germanic and French style. Until then, the viola had been completely overshadowed by other solo instruments. If it had now become the object of more frequent attention, this was partly due to the exceptional stature of Lionel Tertis (1876-1975). Since Tertis was the first violist who attained international fame, composers now found it worthwhile to collaborate with him and dedicate works to him.
Gernot Adrion has held the post of Assistant Principal Viola in Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1996. Since 2006 he has been playing together in the Gideon Klein Trio, an ensemble devoted to string trio repertoire from the Early Baroque to the 20th century. Since 2012 he has formed a piano/viola duo with Yuki Inagawa.
York Bowen (1884 – 1961)
1 Sonata for Viola and Piano No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 18: I. Allegro moderato 10:25
2 Sonata for Viola and Piano No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 18: II. Poco lento e cantabile 08:29
3 Sonata for Viola and Piano No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 18: III. Finale 08:47
Benjamin Dale (1885 – 1943)
4 Phantasy for Viola and Piano, Op. 42 0:09
Franck Bridge (1879 – 1941)
5 Pieces for Viola and Piano: No. 1. Pensiero 04:02
6 Pieces for Viola and Piano: No. 2. Allegro appassionato 02:32
7 Pieces for Viola and Piano: No. 3. Berceuse 02:42
8 Pieces for Viola and Piano: No. 4. Serenade 02:30
9 Pieces for Viola and Piano: No. 5. Élégie 03:21
10 Pieces for Viola and Piano: No. 6. Cradle Song 02:30
Gernot Adrion, viola
Yuki Inagawa, piano