GEOFFREY POOLE (b.1949): Rhapsody for Violin and Piano, GUTO PRYDERI PUW (b.1971): Violin Concerto “Soft Stillness” (BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Edwin Outwater), DAVID MATTHEWS (b.1943): Romanza for Violin and Piano, Op. 119a, SADIE HARRISON (b.1965): Aurea Luce for Violin and Piano, JUDITH WEIR (b.1959): Atlantic Drift for 2 Violins (Cerys Jones [second violin]), MICHAEL BERKELEY (b.1948): Veilleuse for Violin and Piano, MICHAEL NYMAN (b.1944): Taking it as Read for Violin and Piano (all World Premiere Recordings).
Catalogue Number: 11T059
Label: Divine Art
Reference: dda 25160
Description: This is a substantial and nicely varied program of unfamiliar but entirely approachable works, mostly commissioned by or written for, Mitchell. Puw's 20-minute concerto is in two movements, inspired by Shakespeare; an unsettled meditation on the pains of love, and reflections on the 'sweet harmony' of nature. The work is far from atonal or especially dissonant, and resolves into a tonal harmoniousness. Matthews' work is characteristically tonal and neo-romantic, in which a passionate opening is unexpectedly superseded by an elegant Viennese waltz. This is his chamber version of the original, with strings, available on 07T076. Poole's Rhapsody is 'calm, songful, soulful, sunny and accessible – yet emotionally mature and complex' in the composer's words; Berkeley's piece is a nocturne, very tonal and French-influenced, especially Debussy, and Harrison's is based on a plainchant, to which an accumulation of bells is increasingly added. Weir's Scots folk songs cross the Atlantic to point up the migration of folk idioms between continents, and Nyman's little hymn-like melodies are treated to a gentle ostinato accompaniment that could only be by Nyman. Madeleine Mitchell (violin), Nigel Clayton (piano).