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British rhapsody

Romantic British music for viola and piano.


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Related Artists: Su Zhen, Simon Lepper

Catalogue Number: 5060192780352


Viola music of virtuosic brilliance, splendidly played by Su Zhen and Simon Lepper in this well-recorded Stone disc. (Gramophone)

Thanks to Lionel Tertis (1876-1975), the great viola player who inspired many works last century, British composers have had a close association with the instrument. This disc is full of the rhapsody and lyricism that suits its middle-voiced, rich tone, opening with the poignant First Meeting (Souvenir) by Eric Coates, composer of Desert Island Discs’ theme tune and himself a violist. Delius, in an arrangement of his Violin Sonata No 2, and York Bowen’s Phantasy follow the mood deliciously. The Welsh composer Rhian Samuel (b.1944), in contrast, exploits the viola’s capacity for sparseness and eloquence in Blythswood, written as she watched seascapes and mountains while resident in the remote Scottish Highlands. Beautifully played, this is an addictive disc. (Observer)

Zhen and Lepper play all the selections with sensitivity and the ultimate in technical prowess. I enjoyed this foray into British music and think listeners will like it too. (Fanfare)

One of the 40 men and women who make Beijing great (Time Out Beijing)

Su Zhen – someone who makes people love the viola (Musical Instrument Magazine)

Track listing
  1. Coates: First meeting (souvenir)
  2. Richardson: Rhapsody for viola and piano
  3. Delius: Violin sonata no.2 adapted for viola
  4. Samuel: Blythswood – Tangled webs
  5. Samuel: Blythswood – Gannets diving
  6. Samuel: Blythswood – To become the song
  7. Bowen: Phantasy for viola and piano