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Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979): Viola Sonata, Shorter Pieces / Gabriele Campagna, violin; Diana Bonatesta, viola; Arianna Bonatesta, piano

Album Summary

>Clarke, Rebecca : Sonata for viola & piano
>Clarke, Rebecca : Lullaby, for viola & piano
>Clarke, Rebecca : Lullaby (An arrangement of an ancient Irish tune), for violin/viola & piano
>Clarke, Rebecca : Untitled Piece for viola and piano (1917-1918)
>Clarke, Rebecca : Chinese puzzle, for violin & piano
>Clarke, Rebecca : Passacaglia on an Old English Tune, for viola/cello & piano
>Clarke, Rebecca : I'll bid my heart be still (after an Old Scottish Border Melody), for viola & piano
>Clarke, Rebecca : Morpheus, for viola & piano
>Clarke, Rebecca : Dumka for violin, viola & piano
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

English composer Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) is best known for her chamber music compositions, many of which feature the viola. Clarke moved to the United States in 1916, after her father disowned her. The Sonata for Viola and Piano was composed in 1919 when Clarke was 33 years old. It premiered at the Berkshire Music Festival the same year, and was well received. Chester Music published the piece two years later. The Viola Sonata, which is becoming more and more a staple in the violist's repertoire due to its many obstacles and idiomatic writing, opens with a pentatonic theme, and features thick harmonies, dense, complex rhythmic texture, and an emotionally intense nature that has been compared to the impressionism of Debussy. Diana and Arianna Bonatesta, The Runya Duo sisters, perform with incredible harmony and add a sweetness and femininity to this album. Recorded by Alessandro Simonetto, this album is free from any mastering additions.

Rebecca Clarke (1886 - 1979) was an English classical composer and violist best known for her chamber music featuring the viola. Clarke moved to the United States in 1916, after being disowned by her father. She had been supporting herself with some success as a soloist. Rebecca Clarke's Sonata for Viola and Piano is first known of in 1919, when the composer was 33 years old. The piece had its première at the Berkshire Music Festival in 1919, and was well received. Furthermore was published in 1921 by Chester Music. Because of the many different obstacles the piece presents, as well as its highly idiomatic writing, it is becoming more and more a staple of the violist's repertoire. Rebecca Clarke wrote little and a large portion of her works features the viola. Much of her music was written for herself and the all-female chamber ensembles she played in. The impressionism of Debussy is often mentioned in connection with Clarke's work, particularly its lush textures and modernistic harmonies. The Viola Sonata (published in the same year as the Bloch and the Hindemith Viola Sonata) is an example of this, with its pentatonic opening theme, thick harmonies, emotionally intense nature, and dense, rhythmically complex texture. The Sonata remains a part of standard repertoire for the viola. Morpheus, composed a year earlier, was her first expansive work, after over a decade of songs and miniatures.The "Passacaglia on an Old English Tune", also from 1941 and premiered by Clarke herself, is based on a theme attributed to Thomas Tallis which appears throughout the work. The piece is modal in flavor, mainly in the Dorian mode but venturing into the seldom-heard Phrygian mode. The Runya Duo sisters, Diana and Arianna Bonatesta, are perfect for adding sweetness and femininity to this music. They perform with such remarkable harmony and fusion, that they sound like a single musician! This perfect recording, by Alessandro Simonetto, is free from any mastering additions.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013).



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Works Details

>Clarke, Rebecca : Sonata for viola & piano
  • Ensemble: Duo Runya
  • Notes: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1919

>Clarke, Rebecca : Lullaby, for viola & piano
  • Ensemble: Duo Runya
  • Notes: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1909

>Clarke, Rebecca : Lullaby (An arrangement of an ancient Irish tune), for violin/viola & piano
  • Ensemble: Duo Runya
  • Notes: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1913

>Clarke, Rebecca : Untitled Piece for viola and piano (1917-1918)
  • Ensemble: Duo Runya
  • Notes: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1917-1918

>Clarke, Rebecca : Chinese puzzle, for violin & piano
  • Ensemble: Duo Runya
  • Notes: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1921

>Clarke, Rebecca : Passacaglia on an Old English Tune, for viola/cello & piano
  • Ensemble: Duo Runya
  • Notes: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1941

>Clarke, Rebecca : I'll bid my heart be still (after an Old Scottish Border Melody), for viola & piano
  • Ensemble: Duo Runya
  • Notes: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Clarke, Rebecca : Morpheus, for viola & piano
  • Ensemble: Duo Runya
  • Notes: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1917

>Clarke, Rebecca : Dumka for violin, viola & piano
  • Performer: Gabriele Campagna (Violin)
  • Ensemble: Duo Runya
  • Notes: Chiesa Parrocchiale di Monticello, Lonigo (12/03/2013-12/05/2013)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1941