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York Bowen: Viola Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2 / Matthew Jones, viola; Michael Hampton, piano

Album Summary

>Bowen, York : Sonata for viola & piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 18
>Bowen, York : Fantasy for Viola and Piano, Op. 54
>Bowen, York : Sonata for viola & piano no 2 in F major, Op. 22
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Inspired by the 'father of the modern viola' Lionel Tertis, London-born composer Edwin York Bowen preferred the tone of this instrument to that of the violin. Encouraged by Tertis, his two widely contrasting Sonatas are pioneering in their use of the viola as a virtuoso solo instrument. Though roughly half the length of the Sonatas, the exuberant Phantasy takes us on a journey through a huge variety of tempo, texture, tonality and moods. The Bridge Duo's recital of English Music for Viola (8.572579) was acclaimed as 'excellent' and 'essential listening'. (MusicWeb International). Matthew Jones is violist of the Bridge Duo (with pianist Michael Hampton), and a professor at Trinity College of Music, Royal Welsh College and Charterhouse International Music Festival. He has given master-classes around the world.

MusicWeb International
Admirers of Bowen will not have any pause for thought and certainly people who enjoy fine recitals of viola and piano playing will find much to give pleasure here. The Phantasy proves itself to be a powerful work... The Bridge Duo prove to be absolutely first rate advocates both technically and stylistically. Jones has a slightly leaner and more agile tone than some violists which suits the febrile mood of the music well and he is well partnered by pianist Michael Hampton.

Gramophone
a refreshing and varied sequel to the Brahms viola sonatas... Bowen's effulgent and often suave harmonic language is at once more opulent and extrovert... Matthew Jones and Michael Hampton's enthusiastic and sympathetic performances bring out this aspect of Bowen's style in spades...

The WholeNote
The Bridge Duo - violist Matthew Jones and pianist Michael Hampton - are fully up to the challenge in a beautifully-recorded disc that makes a fine companion to their recital of English Music for Viola.

Audiophilia
These works show a very fluent and inspired feel for the sound and range of the Viola and whilst the mood of contemplation is never far away in these works there is plenty of virtuosity and the listener is never left without a strong melody for very long.

Gramophone Magazine
Both works provide a refreshing and varied sequence to the Brahms viola sonatas with which they are in many ways unjustly compared. Bowen's effulgent and often suave harmonic language is at once more opulent and extrovert...Matthew Jones and Michael Hampton's enthusiastic and sympathetic performances bring out this aspect of Bowen's style in spades.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK (2011-03-28_2011-03-29&2011-).



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Works Details

>Bowen, York : Sonata for viola & piano no 1 in C minor, Op. 18
  • Ensemble: Bridge Duo
  • Notes: Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK (2011-03-28_2011-03-29&2011-)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1904

>Bowen, York : Fantasy for Viola and Piano, Op. 54
  • Ensemble: Bridge Duo
  • Notes: Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK (2011-03-28_2011-03-29&2011-)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 05/31/1918

>Bowen, York : Sonata for viola & piano no 2 in F major, Op. 22
  • Ensemble: Bridge Duo
  • Notes: Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK (2011-03-28_2011-03-29&2011-)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1906