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Friday, January 27, 2017

Edmund Rubbra; William Walton - Viola Concertos (Lawrence Power) mp3


Composer: Edmund Rubbra; William Walton
  1. Walton - Viola Concerto: I. Andante comodo
  2. Walton - Viola Concerto: II. Vivo, con molto preciso
  3. Walton - Viola Concerto: III. Allegro moderato
  4. Rubbra - Meditations on a Byzantine Hymn, Op. 117
  5. Rubbra - Viola Concerto in A major, Op. 75: I. Introduzione quasi una Fantasia
  6. Rubbra - Viola Concerto in A major, Op. 75: II. Molto vivace
  7. Rubbra - Viola Concerto in A major, Op. 75: III. Collana musicale: Andante moderato

Lawrence Power, viola
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov, conductor

Date: 2007
Label: Hyperion



A superb player and his team go back to Walton’s original with terrific results

It is good to welcome a modern recording of Walton’s Viola Concerto in its original orchestration. When in 1938 Frederick Riddle, principal viola of the LSO, first recorded this seminal work (Dutton, 12/93), Walton had yet to slim down the orchestration to make the concerto more accessible. But even dedicated Waltonians may not notice much difference, particularly when in this fine recording the balance marginally favours the solo instrument. Yet as Leo Black suggests in his booklet-notes, the result “perhaps conveys to a greater extent the freshness and grittiness of Walton’s original conception”.

This was in many ways the breakthrough work in Walton’s early career; it brought together in full maturity his distinctive mixture of yearning lyricism and jazzily syncopated writing. Lawrence Power serves the work superbly, with subtler detail than Lars Anders Tomter (Naxos, 5/96) and a lighter vibrato than Nobuko Imai adopts (Chandos, 4/93). Riddle’s is arguably still the finest version, with speeds marginally faster than modern versions, something approved by Walton. Yet Power, like Tomter and Imai, is not much slower than Riddle in the Andante comodo first movement. In the finale differences in timing between Riddle and modern versions is greater, largely because of the final expansive epilogue, which clearly echoes the accompanied cadenzas of Elgar’s Violin Concerto.

For most Walton enthusiasts the rivals’ couplings will be more attractive but the two Rubbra items here are welcome. His orchestration in the Concerto is never as clear as Walton’s but it suits his musical idiom with its reliance on perfect fourths and other open intervals, as well as plainsong. The Meditations on a Byzantine Theme, the first recording in the version for unaccompanied viola, makes an apt extra. All told, a superb disc, much to be welcomed.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone

More reviews:
MusicWeb International  RECORDING OF THE MONTH


Edmund Rubbra (23 May 1901 – 14 February 1986) was a British composer. He composed both instrumental and vocal works for soloists, chamber groups and full choruses and orchestras. He was greatly esteemed by fellow musicians and was at the peak of his fame in the mid-20th century. The most famous of his pieces are his eleven symphonies. Jis output as a whole is less celebrated today than would have been expected from its sheer merit and from his early popularity. As an author, Rubbra wrote numerous articles during his lifetime, about both his own music and that of others.


William Walton (29 March 1902 – 8 March 1983) was an English composer. During a sixty-year career, he wrote music in several classical genres and styles, from film scores to opera. His best-known works include Façade, the cantata Belshazzar's Feast, the Viola Concerto and the First Symphony. Walton was a slow worker, painstakingly perfectionist, and his complete body of work across his long career is not large. His most popular compositions continue to be frequently performed in the twenty-first century, with almost all his works had been released on CD.


Lawrence Power (born 1977) is a British violist. Power studied with Mark Knight at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and with Karen Tuttle at the Juilliard School. Since his London solo debut with The Philharmonia, he has performed in the UK and abroad, appearing as soloist with many leading orchestras. Power also has a prominent career as a chamber musician, as violist in the Nash Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio. He plays an instrument by Antonio Brensi of Bologna from c.1610.


MP3,  CBR 320 kbps
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  2. These posts about Rubbra have been excellent! Do you have the piano concerto?

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