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Track(s) taken from CDA67651/2

Allegro de concert

February 1906; in D minor; originally for cello and piano; viola version by the composer; no contemporary performed known

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: 7 minutes 49 seconds

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


'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)
Originally composed for cello and piano, the substantial Allegro de concert is dated February 1906. Doubtless influenced by Tertis, Bowen agreed that it should also be played on the viola, and this is the way it is most often heard. With its bold piano accompaniment, its headlong opening Allegro con fuoco, and brief wistful central interlude with its hint of an elegiac tune that never fully evolves, it would have allowed Tertis every opportunity to demonstrate his virtuosity and unique tone. Yet even in York Bowen’s press cuttings there seems to be no report of a performance in Bowen’s lifetime.

from notes by Lewis Foreman © 2008

D’abord composé pour violoncelle et piano, le substantiel Allegro de concert est daté de février 1906. Influencé, à n’en pas douter, par Tertis, Bowen admit qu’il devrait être joué à l’alto, et c’est sous cette forme qu’on l’entend le plus souvent. Avec son audacieux accompagnement pianistique, son impétueux Allegro con fuoco initial et ses brefs interludes centraux mélancoliques nués d’une élégie qui ne se développe jamais pleinement, cette pièce dut donner à Tertis toute licence de démontrer sa virtuosité et sa sonorité unique—même si les coupures de presse de Bowen ne mentionnent, semble-t-il, aucune exécution de son vivant.

extrait des notes rédigées par Lewis Foreman © 2008
Français: Hypérion

Das ebenfalls original für Cello und Klavier komponierte substanzielle Allegro de concert ist mit Februar 1906 datiert. Zweifellos von Tertis beeinflusst stimmte Bowen wiederum zu, dass es auch auf Bratsche gespielt werden könnte, und es ist meist in dieser Fassung zu hören. Mit seiner verwegenen Klavierbegleitung, seinem einleitenden kopfüber taumelnden Allegro con fuoco und kurzen wehmütigen zentralen Interludium, das eine elegische Melodie erahnen lässt, die sich nie ganz entwickelt, hätte es Tertis jede Gelegenheit gegeben, seine Virtuosität und seinen einzigartigen Ton zu demonstrieren. Doch selbst in York Bowens Zeitungsausschnitten scheint es keinen Bericht über eine Aufführung zu Bowens Lebzeiten zu geben.

aus dem Begleittext von Lewis Foreman © 2008
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

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