Clare Howick / Sophia Rahman

Cyril Scott: Violin Sonatas No. 1 & 3; Sonata Melodica

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The three violin sonatas on this CD date from the early and late phases of Cyril Scott's long career as a composer, yet there is not a dramatic change in his style and expression between them, even though the Sonata No. 1 was written in 1908 and the Sonata Melodica and the Violin Sonata No. 3 were written in 1950 and 1955, respectively. The lyrical strain of Scott's music is a constant element and a crucial connection between all three works, and their shared impressionistic harmonies, discursive developments, and ambiguous moods make them seem quite closely related, as does their idiosyncratic tonality. On this 2010 Naxos release, a strong feeling of continuity is maintained in the smooth and evenly controlled playing of violinist Clare Howick and pianist Sophia Rahman, who deliver the works with subtlety and a wide range of tones and sonorities that keep these sonatas interesting, even when they seem overwhelmed with their brooding emotions. The sound of this album is vibrant and clear, and every pitch is fully audible, though overall it lacks brilliance.

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