Magazine article Gramophone

Stanford: 'Complete Works for Violin and Piano'

Magazine article Gramophone

Stanford: 'Complete Works for Violin and Piano'

Article excerpt

Stanford

'Complete Works for Violin and Piano'

Violin Sonatas--No 1, Op 11; No 2, Op 70. Three Intermezzos, Op 13. Legend. Album-leaf. Six Irish Dances. Five Bagatelles in Valse-Form, Op 183. Six Irish Fantasies, Op 54. Five Characteristic Pieces, Op 93. Three Irish Airs. Three Irish Dances, Op 89. Six Irish Sketches, Op 153. Six Irish Marches. An Ancient Melody. Planxty Sudley. Six Sketches, Op 155

Alberto Bologni vn Christopher Howell pf Sheva Collection [S] [R] SH100 (3h 40' * DDD)

There have been, in the last 20 years or so, a number of recordings of Stanford's music for violin and piano. Susanne Stanzeleit and Gusztav Fenyo produced a fine recording of the First Violin Sonata in 1994 (together with works by Bantock and Dunhill--Cala United, 7/96) which was reissued on Regis in 2011. Paul Barritt and Catherine Edwards (piano) recorded both violin sonatas, the 'Caoine' from the Six Irish Fantasies, Op 54, and the Five Characteristic Pieces, Op 93, in 1997-99 (Hyperion, 7/99), now available at budget-price, while Lucy Gould and Benjamin Frith have recorded the Legend and two movements, the 'Jig' and 'Hush Song', from the Irish Fantasies (Naxos, A/11). This is the first time, however, that all of Stanford's works for the combination have been issued on a set of three thoughtfully organised CDs, by the Sheva Collection label with an Italian violinist and an English pianist.

Alberto Bologni and Christopher Howell give spirited readings of the two solo sonatas, which are strategically placed on the first and third CDs respectively. The first movement of the Op 11 First Sonata in D has an infectious momentum and, in the imaginative variation structure of the second movement, a pleasing character and sense of contrast. In the longer Op 70 Second Sonata in A, both performers respond to the richer and more lyrical demands of the score, Bologni with a fuller, passionate tone, Howells in the more opulent piano part. …

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