English Violin Duos by Aitchison, McCabe, Moeran, Croft, Matthews & Rawsthorne / Retorica - Philippa Mo & Harriet Mackenzie, violins

> Syruw - No. 1. Still
> Syruw - No. 2. Gently restless and distant
> Syruw - No. 3. Working
> Syruw - No. 4. Capricious and lugubrious (an exaggerated tale)
> Syruw - No. 5. Distant, singing
> Spielend - Spielend
> Sonata for 2 Violins - I. Allegro non troppo
> Sonata for 2 Violins - II. Presto
> Sonata for 2 Violins - III. Passacaglia: Poco maestoso, ma con moto
> Sonata in B flat major, Op. 3, No. 4, "to Which is Added an Excellent Solo" (arr. for 2 violins) - I. —
> Sonata in B flat major, Op. 3, No. 4, "to Which is Added an Excellent Solo" (arr. for 2 violins) - II. —
> Sonata in B flat major, Op. 3, No. 4, "to Which is Added an Excellent Solo" (arr. for 2 violins) - III. —
> Sonata in B flat major, Op. 3, No. 4, "to Which is Added an Excellent Solo" (arr. for 2 violins) - IV. —
> 8 Duos, Op. 79 - No. 1. English Dance: Allegro cantabile
> 8 Duos, Op. 79 - No. 2. Slavonic Dance: Scorrevole
> 8 Duos, Op. 79 - No. 3. Still afternoon: Lento
> 8 Duos, Op. 79 - No. 4. Bells at evening: Con moto
> 8 Duos, Op. 79 - No. 5. Pastoral: Andante
> 8 Duos, Op. 79 - No. 6. Contra-Pastoral: Con violenza
> 8 Duos, Op. 79 - No. 7. Fugue and Dance: Flowing
> 8 Duos, Op. 79 - No. 8. Arietta: Largo
> Theme and Variations - Theme: Allegro
> Theme and Variations - Variation 1: Capriccietto: Allegro molto
> Theme and Variations - Variation 2: Siciliano: Allegretto
> Theme and Variations - Variation 3: Cancrizzante: Allegro
> Theme and Variations - Variation 4: Rhapsodia: Adagio
> Theme and Variations - Variation 5: Notturno: Lento assai
> Theme and Variations - Variation 6: Scherzetto: Presto
> Theme and Variations - Variation 7: Ostinato: Allegro
> Theme and Variations - Variation 8: Canone: Allegro
> Theme and Variations - Variation 9: Fantasia: Allegro poco maestoso - Nel tempo della Rhapsodia - Tempo I

Album Summary

>Aitchison, Jim : Syruw
>McCabe, John : Splendid, for 2 violins
>Moeran, Ernest John : Sonata for 2 violins
>Croft, William : Sonata for 2 violins, Op. 3/4
>Matthews, David : Duos (8) for 2 violins, Op. 79
>Rawsthorne, Alan : Theme and Variations for Two Violins
Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

English violin duo Retorica (Philippa Mo and Harriet Mackenzie) were inspired by their long friendships with composers John McCabe and David Matthews to make this recording of British works for two violins. Amid the challenging contemporary repertoire by McCabe, Matthews, Jim Aitchison, and Alan Rawsthorne is the surprising addition of a William Croft sonata from the 18th century, providing at once a bloodline and a foil to the other works.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
For me the high points of Retorica's program, combining superb craft and shapely formal logic with idiomatic and imaginative use of the instruments and nuanced, poignant, expressive power.

Sunday Times, 12th August 2012
Bach and other composers show how much can be done with a solo violin, so it is no surprise that the violin duo, seemingly a convenience of the instrumental lesson, can yield the riches vividly displayed by Retorica...best of all is Theme and Variations (1937), by Alan Rawsthorne, a hidden-away but patent little masterpiece.

The Arts Desk, 16th February 2013
There's little that connects the works collected on this disc other than their scoring and the composers' nationality. Which doesn't matter a jot - the stylistic range is accordingly huge...Performances are uniformly excellent.

Gramophone Magazine, April 2013
Both of these works [the Moeran and the Rawsthorne] benefit, as does the recital as a whole, from superbly responsive playing by Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo - who project the music's often intricate contrapuntal interweaving with faultless technique and unfailing insight.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (2010-02-04_2010-02-05&2010-).



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Works Details

>Aitchison, Jim : Syruw :: Five Kazakh Tableaux, for 2 violins
  • Ensemble: Retorica
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (2010-02-04_2010-02-05&2010-)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2009

>McCabe, John : Splendid, for 2 violins
  • Ensemble: Retorica
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (2010-02-04_2010-02-05&2010-)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Moeran, Ernest John : Sonata for 2 violins
  • Ensemble: Retorica
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (2010-02-04_2010-02-05&2010-)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1930

>Croft, William : Sonata for 2 violins, Op. 3/4
  • Ensemble: Retorica
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (2010-02-04_2010-02-05&2010-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1704

>Matthews, David : Duos (8) for 2 violins, Op. 79
  • Ensemble: Retorica
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (2010-02-04_2010-02-05&2010-)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999-2001

>Rawsthorne, Alan : Theme and Variations for Two Violins
  • Ensemble: Retorica
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (2010-02-04_2010-02-05&2010-)
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1938