The unpublished Romance
from 1900 designates its sixteen-year-old composer on the manuscript as ‘Edwin Y. Bowen’. Its contemplative manner suggests precocious anticipation of such salon staples as the celebrated Méditation
from Massenet’s opera Thaïs
(1903); yet its harmonic range extends well beyond any such comparison. A rapt Lento in D flat major leads to a poco più mosso in which, nodding at the textural give-and-take of classical sonata convention, fluid semiquavers pass eventually from the pianist’s left hand to the violin part. An unexpectedly vehement central climax is reached via a series of modulations, briefly reigniting before a spacious recapitulation of the opening section. The final stages make valedictory reference to the central passage, now accommodated in the ‘home’ key.
from notes by Francis Pott © 2013