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Connections: Britten: Lackrymae; Shostakovich: Viola sonata, Op. 147; Al-Zand: Hollows and Dells for viola & piano / Ivo-Jan van der Werff, viola; Simon Marlow, piano

Album Summary

>Britten, Benjamin : Lachrymae for Viola and Piano, Op. 48
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147
>Al-Zand, Karim : Hollows and Dells, for viola & piano
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This unique album couples two of the greatest works for viola and piano by two of the 20th-century's greatest composers, Dmitri Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten, contemporaries who were also staunch musical colleagues. Britten's 'Lachrymae' dates from 1950 and is a fantasy on a song by John Dowland; Shostakovich's Sonata is his very last work, completed in hospital just four days before his death. It is one of the composer's darkest, most moving masterpieces, full of subtle allusions and self-quotations. The recent three-movement work by the Canadian composer Karim Al-Zand, written for Ivo-Jan van der Werff, and receiving its world premiere here, also reflects on earlier music, making this unique coupling one of the most intriguing and suitable in the entire international catalogue.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
Two of the greatest works for viola and piano are here, Britten's Lachrymae and Shostakovich's sonata. These two works also appear together on a CD by Yuri Bashmet and Sviatoslav Richter (July/Aug 1998) - one of the greatest recitals ever recorded, and the performances of the Britten and Shostakovich are in a class by themselves.

I have never before heard Hollows and Dells by Canadian composer Karim Al-Zand (b 1970). It is a very mainstream modernist piece sounding like it could come from the mid-20th Century. The first two movements are based on British folk music and the central slow movement is based on the hymn tune Repton. The work is pleasant.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Rice University, Houston, TX (12/10/2013-12/12/2013).



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Works Details

>Britten, Benjamin : Lachrymae for Viola and Piano, Op. 48
  • Performers: Simon Marlow (Piano); Ivo Werff (Viola)
  • Notes: Rice University, Houston, TX (12/10/2013-12/12/2013)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147
  • Performers: Simon Marlow (Piano); Ivo Werff (Viola)
  • Notes: Rice University, Houston, TX (12/10/2013-12/12/2013)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1975

>Al-Zand, Karim : Hollows and Dells, for viola & piano
  • Performers: Simon Marlow (Piano); Ivo Werff (Viola)
  • Notes: Rice University, Houston, TX (12/10/2013-12/12/2013)
  • Running Time: 4 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary