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Benjamin Britten was a viola player as well as a pianist and wrote a significant body of chamber music for stringed instruments. The works on this recording – which contains important world première recordings – were written between 1925 and 1937, with the exception of the masterpiece for viola, Lachrymae. Each reveals some characteristic aspect of Britten’s voice, from the variety and wit of the Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 6 to the little-known but absorbingly imaginative Reveille and the remarkably assured 1930 Elegy, written when he was just seventeen.
Benjamin Britten: Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 6
I. Introduction: Andante maestoso
II. March: Allegro alla marcia
III. Moto perpetuo: Allegro molto e con fuoco
IV. Lullaby: Lento tranquillo
V. Waltz: Alla valse, vivace e rubato
Benjamin Britten: Reflection
Benjamin Britten: Reveille
Benjamin Britten: Elegy
Benjamin Britten: 2 Pieces
No. 1. The Moon
No. 2. Going Down Hill on a Bicycle (A Boy's Song)
Benjamin Britten: Etude
Frank Bridge: There is a Willow Grows Aslant a Brook (arr. B. Britten for viola and piano)
There is a Willow Grows Aslant a Brook (arr. B. Britten for viola and piano)
Benjamin Britten: Valse in B Major
Valse in B Major
Benjamin Britten: Lachrymae, Op. 48, "Reflections on a Song of John Dowland"
Lachrymae, Op. 48, "Reflections on a Song of John Dowland"
“There isn't a single dud item here...Jones's playing of both instruments enthrals. His viola tone is different from the turbocharged massiveness of many of today's soloists; instead he searches out the instrument's capacity for gentle light and shade.”
“Jones's performances here, well accompanied by Annabel Thwaite, are sometimes more expansive but have a sure feel for Britten's idiom. His playing of the Suite for violin and piano, Op. 6, is alive to its quick-fire kaleidoscope of styles...It is good of Naxos to give us Britten's solo violin and viola repertoire so neatly packaged.”
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