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John Ireland’s violin sonatas gained extraordinarily positive reviews when they were premiered.
The Star praised the ‘delicacy, lucidity, and tonal charm’ of the First Violin Sonata, while Musical Times regarded the Second as ‘a brilliant specimen of his powers’.
This disc presents new recordings by the critically-acclaimed and widely-travelled Gould Trio of these two unjustly neglected works, together with one of Ireland’s most profoundly expressive pieces, the Cello Sonata; three compositions which display the composer’s emotional intensity and passionate lyricism
“Naxos really are doing John Ireland proud at the moment.” Gramophone
John Ireland: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor
I. Allegro leggiadro
II. Romance: In tempo sostenuto, quasi adagio
III. Rondo: Allegro sciolto assai
John Ireland: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A minor
II. Poco lento quasi adagio
III. In tempo moderato - con brio
John Ireland: Cello Sonata in G minor
I. Moderato e sostenuto
II. Poco largamente - non troppo lento
III. Con moto e marcato
4th August 2010
“Anyone who instinctively shies away from John Ireland’s languid late romanticism might be persuaded of a more muscular side to his musical personality by these two violin sonatas, excellently played here.”
7th August 2010
“The Ireland sonatas are sweet, uncomplicated and...unmistakably English. The performances are fine”
19th August 2010
“In the first, D minor violin sonata...it's the slow movement – with a main idea whose falling motif is more than distantly reminiscent of the theme of Elgar's Enigma Variations – that packs an emotional punch. All three performances certainly extract as much musical juice out of the pieces as they can.”
“...there's no gentility or emotional holding-back about these performances [of the Violin Sonatas] - the works are presented as big-boned, rough-hewn almost, in the Brahmsian tradition but infused with urgent contemporary feeling...Alice Neary's account of the later, more compact but equally heartfelt Cello Sonata is similarly powerful.”
“Gould and Frith have the easy, genial, improvisatory nature of the First Violin Sonata nailed. Their tone in the tragedy-edged Second has just the right contrast...Neary plays [the Cello Sonata] with sure-fingered technique and sonorous tone, her interpretation awash with intense love, longing and frustration.”
Awards Issue 2010
“With well balanced sound the disc makes a welcome addition to Naxos's growing library of British chamber works from a period too often neglected.”
“Lucy Gould, one of the leading British violinists of her generation, is most sympathetically accompanied by Benjamin Frith, a pianist who should be far more widely acclaimed.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.