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Bowen: Viola Concerto / Forsyth: Viola Concerto [Import]

York Bowen , Cecil Forsyth , Martyn Brabbins , BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra , Lawrence Power Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Bowen: Viola Concerto / Forsyth: Viola Concerto + Complete Works for Viola & Piano
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Product Details

  • Performer: Lawrence Power
  • Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
  • Composer: York Bowen, Cecil Forsyth
  • Audio CD (June 14, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00095L8XE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,172 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Viola Concerto in C minor, Op. 25: Allegro assai
2. Viola Concerto in C minor, Op. 25: Andante cantabile
3. Viola Concerto in C minor, Op. 25: Allegro scherzando
4. Viola Concerto in G minor: Appassionato - Moderato
5. Viola Concerto in G minor: Andante un poco sostenuto
6. Viola Concerto in G minor: Allegro con fuoco

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuine revelation December 2, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It's good if you already know some of the music Bowen wrote once he had found his voice, because it allows you to put Bowen's Concerto in it's proper persepctive as one work among his canon, and as an independent work jockeying for position among the other viola compositions written previously and those of the day. On display are all of the influences that eventually amalgamated to become the recognizably mature Bowen style: the harmonic inventiveness of the French school via Debussy, the surging and passion of the Russian romantics via Tchaikovsky, the yearning modality of the new English school and the overwhelming technicolor of the Austro-German school via Strauss in Bowen's orchestration. While it's remarkable that the young Bowen had absorbed all this, it is even more amazing that just a short time later he was able to forge these disparate musics into a style recognizable as York Bowen. (See his Phantasy for viola and piano for the first manifestation of the mature Bowen. York Bowen: Viola Sonatas No. 1 & No. 2; Phantasy for Viola & Piano) The fact that these influences are clearly on display in the Viola Concerto doesn't lessen the incredible impact made by the work. It is just fantastic; compelling, ceaselessly interesting from moment to moment, showing incredible imaginative resources. There is one weak moment: the cadenza in the 3rd movement. It seems to be from another piece, and Lewis Foreman (author of the booklet note) thinks it was actually written by Tertis.

This isn't the first viola concerto, but it is surely the first truly virtuosic viola concertante work. There simply was no viola writing like this up to this time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic escapism July 26, 2011
Format:Audio CD
OK,again something beautiful recommended by "Gramophone" in their the-best-of-the-month section but also curiously enough,the viola player here (talented Lawrence Power) played with pianist Mikhail Pletnev whose Tchaikovsky recording I love so much. Almost cinematic beauty of piece "Gramophone" selected stayed for me for years until I finally decided,yes I want to hear the whole album and was thrilled to finally get my hands on it.

The album have not one but two quite magical viola pieces by two different composers (York Bowen and Cecil Forsyth) and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra plays like a dream,conducted by Martyn Brabbins - according to "Hyperion" liner notes,both works were very important in transforming viola into a solo instrument and surprisingly enough,Bowen was only twenty-four when his Concerto in C minor was composed! There is something very appealing in yearning tone of Viola and Bowen himself liked it better than violin - in combination with a full-blown symphonic orchestra it is truly very romantic and beautiful music. Alas, with time it is exactly this romantic part that came to be looked down upon as old fashioned and after composer's death his work slowly went into decline,unperformed and almost forgotten. It is through the recordings like this that Bowen and his music start to get noticed again and hopefully it will inspire recording companies to produce more of albums of his work.
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