Clare Howick / John-Paul Ekins

British Music for Violin and Piano

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AllMusic Review by

The British music for violin and piano heard on this release by violinist Clare Howick comes from a small slice of the history of the combination: most of it is from the first two decades of the 20th century. It's an obscure corner of the tradition even for lovers of British chamber music, but it would be hard to imagine it being done better than in the quietly graceful, precise readings on offer here. Howick frames her program with two Elgar works: the serious Violin Sonata of 1918 and the virtuoso Mazurka of 1899. But the real interest is in between, where Elgar does not appear at all. Instead, Howick devotes herself to music that's halfway between the conservatory and the salon, unearthing several totally forgotten pieces and giving them their world premiere recordings. Among these you might sample Frank Bridge's "Une lamentation d'amour," but the entire thing is overflowing with enough great tunes to make you a bit irritated that solemn modernism consigned these pieces to the trash bin. Howick has championed the music of the neglected Cyril Scott in the past, and his Bumble-Bees, from 1928 and slightly later than the other music on the program, is one of several comic works that break up the sentiment. John Ireland and Frederick Delius are the other two composers represented, each by works not in common circulation. A completely enjoyable hour of music, ideally recorded at Wathen Hall at St. Paul's Boys' School.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 82
1 09:10 Amazon
2 08:39 Amazon
3 09:19 Amazon
4 04:11 Amazon
5 02:38 Amazon
Five Piano Pieces
6 02:24 Amazon
7 02:02 Amazon
Three Dances
8 01:40 Amazon
9 04:07 Amazon
Sonnets (2)
10 02:14 Amazon
11 03:01 Amazon
12 01:28 Amazon
Four Short Pieces
13 01:51 Amazon
14 02:05 Amazon
15 01:39 Amazon
16 04:46 Amazon
17 02:40 Amazon
18 05:26 Amazon
19 02:13 Amazon
Four Short Pieces
20 02:55 Amazon
21 02:20 Amazon
Three Characteristic Pieces, Op. 10
22 02:54 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick