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Track(s) taken from CDA67651/2

Romance in D flat major

1900 for violin and piano; arranged for viola and piano by Bowen in 1904; Lento

Lawrence Power (viola), Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano)
Recording details: November 2007
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: July 2008
Total duration: 6 minutes 28 seconds

Cover artwork: Sunrise by the Red Trees by Romy Ragan
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Chloë Hanslip (violin), Danny Driver (piano)


'Bowen's music … is full of surprises and of a harmonic language and idiom peculiarly his own … both CDs are beautifully planned … and the performances could hardly be more glowing. Bowen's writing for both instruments is more than demanding yet nothing detracts from Lawrence Power's and Simon Crawford-Phillips's enviable fluency and achievement. Once again Hyperion hits the jackpot in a much-needed revival and the sound and balance are exemplary' (Gramophone)

'Following his successful recording of Bowen's Concerto, Lawrence Power turns to this repertoire with similar technical ease, and persuasively idiomatic tempo inflections and portamenti' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The music of the hugely prolific York Bowen is enjoying something of a renaissance … his long association with England's great champion of the viola, Lionel Tertis, produced some signficant sonatas, romances and rhapsodies which see the light of day again in this recording. Lawrence Power's gorgeous dark red tone is perfect for this repertoire' (The Observer)

'What a delicious recording … the two sonatas are fully persuasive from their first notes, each blessed with a sixth sense for Bowen's overarching structure. Power pulls new colours from his instrument with irrepressible bravura, while never losing a kindliness for the more intimate moments that … are as stylistically imperative as the grander apotheoses that call to mind Rachmaninov, Chopin or Debussy … the writing is quite masterful in its alchemy of structure and emotion and the performances are exquisitely balanced, refined and mindful of the elegiac character that broadly underpins the work … with music-making of this calibre, who can predict the summit of York Bowen's renewed celebrity? Bravo!' (International Record Review)

'All the pieces show Bowen's love of the instrument's capacity to unfold long-limbed, rhapsodic melodies … Lawrence Power's richly expressive moulding of them is a rare treat in itself' (The Guardian)

'The two viola sonatas of 1905 and 1906 are clearly inspired by the romantic style of Brahms's late sonatas for clarinet and viola. They are worthy successors, at least when played with the sumptuous tone, passionate convinction and supreme technical address that Power lavishes on them here. Even finer are the two single-movement pieces … Crawford-Phillips relishes the bravura of Bowen's writing for the piano in this superbly executed set, unlikely to be equalled very soon' (The Sunday Times)

'Power, the first British winner of the William Primrose International Viola Competition, now returns to this cherishable area of the repertoire with equally stunning results. Accompanied by Crawford-Phillips, Lawrence's fabulous combination of tonal seductiveness and technical wizardry works wonders in the bold expressive outlines of the two sonatas. Yet it is the heart-warming, stand-alone pieces (many recorded here for the first time) … that make this release truly indispensable. Another Hyperion winner' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Violist Lawrence Power and pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips touch the nerve centers of this music and convey its subtle flavors and fragrances. The recording is up to Hyperion’s high standard' (Fanfare, USA)

'The viola … has no better exponent than Lawrence Power … we must be very grateful that his music is now in wide circulation again … a real discovery' (Liverpool Daily Post)

'Lawrence Power, surely one of the finest viola players of today, and Simon Crawford-Phillips play magnificently and as one in this excellent survey of Bowen’s works for viola and piano. Hyperion’s recording, made at Potton Hall, is outstanding, and the set is recommended without reservation' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'Composers whose rich romanticism was out of favour among 20th-century pundits who favoured angular austerity are finally receiving their due. Bowen believed the viola sounded more attractive than the violin and has a persuasive advocate in Power' (Classical Music)
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

La Romance inédite de 1900 fut composée, nous dit le manuscrit, par un «Edwin Y. Bowen» âgé de seize ans. Sa manière contemplative suggère une anticipation précoce de morceaux de salon comme la célèbre Méditation extraite de Thaïs (1903), l’opéra de Massenet; mais son étendue harmonique va bien au-delà d’une telle comparaison. Un Lento extasié en ré bémol majeur mène à un poco più mosso où, avec un clin d’œil aux échanges de texture de la sonate classique conventionnelle, de fluides doubles croches finissent par passer de la main gauche du pianiste à la partie de violon. Un apogée central d’une véhémence inattendue, atteint via une série de modulations, s’enflamme de nouveau brièvement avant une spacieuse réexposition de la section inaugurale. Les dernières étapes font une ultime référence au passage central, désormais accommodé dans le ton «principal».

extrait des notes rédigées par Francis Pott © 2013
Français: Hypérion

Die unveröffentlichte Romance von 1900 weist den 16-jährigen Komponisten im Autograph als „Edwin Y. Bowen“ aus. Ihre Besinnlichkeit suggeriert eine frühe Vorwegnahme so beliebter Salonstücke wie der berühmten Méditation aus Massenets Oper Thaïs (1903); ihre harmonische Bandbreite reicht jedoch weit über einen derartigen Vergleich hinaus. Ein verzücktes Lento in Des-Dur führt zu einem poco più mosso, in dem (mit einer flüchtigen Hinwendung zur strukturellen Ausgewogenheit der üblichen klassischen Sonatenform) fließende Sechzehntel schließlich von der linken Hand des Pianisten zur Geigenstimme übergehen. Eine Reihe von Modulationen führt zu einem unerwartet heftigen zentralen Höhepunkt, der kurz vor einer ausgedehnten Reprise des Anfangsteils wieder aufflammt. Die Schlußphase wendet sich ein letztes Mal zur zentralen Passage zurück, nun in der Grundtonart.

aus dem Begleittext von Francis Pott © 2013
Deutsch: Christiane Frobenius

Other albums featuring this work

Bowen: The complete works for violin and piano
Studio Master: CDA67991/22CDsStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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