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Chamber Music - Released July 27, 2010 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Chamber Music - Released March 20, 2020 | SOMM Recordings

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Somm Recordings pays tribute to the remarkable flourishing of British Violin Sonatas in the 20th century with a collection of music for violin and piano by six key figures of the modern chamber music renaissance in Britain. From the middle of the century, and commissioned for Yehudi Menuhin, William Walton’s Violin Sonata is unique in the composer’s oeuvre with its almost constant sense of nervous uncertainty. Composed the same year (1948), Kenneth Leighton’s youthful First Violin Sonata is the product, as Robert Matthew-Walker comments in his authoritative booklet notes, of “a deep-thinking musician of whom everything he was to write, from his earliest compositions onwards, is genuinely felt and unaffectedly original”. William Alwyn’s beautifully proportioned Sonatina (1933) receives only its second appearance on recording here. Composed the following year, Alan Rawsthorne’s Pierrette: Valse Caprice is best remembered from its quotation in the composer’s soundtrack for the 1947 film Uncle Silas. The contrasted Elegy and Toccata from Lennox Berkeley’s 1951 Op.33 reveal a master craftsman in miniature, while three pieces by Gordon Jacob – Little Dancer (1959), Caprice (1969) and Elegy (1972) – all make their first appearances here. © Somm Recordings
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Chamber Music - Released October 26, 2010 | Naxos

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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2021 | SOMM Recordings

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Perhaps no composer embodied the new spirit of comradeship and collaboration between England and France more enthusiastically than the Bradford-born, Paris-domiciled Frederick Delius. His Sonata in B major offers a becoming portrait of the then 30-year-old composer; youthfully dramatic with a growing virtuosity and vigour that makes it seem, as Robert Matthew-Walker notes in his erudite booklet notes, like the “extended and manifestly symphonic composition” it is. Composed at the same age, John Ireland’s breakthrough First Violin Sonata combines Edwardian elegance with a hint of French Impressionism gleaned from Debussy – whose late, last Violin Sonata in G minor is a work of profoundly-expressed emotions – and Ravel, whose Pièce en forme de habanera is hauntingly memorable. While resident in Paris in the early years of the last century, Cyril Scott enjoyed cordial relations with Ravel and Debussy, who particularly admired his music. His Valse Caprice and arrangement of Cherry Ripe infuse well-mannered salon pieces with lithe French elegance. Similarly so, Arnold Bax’s ever-popular picture-postcard Mediterranean in its vivacious arrangement by Jascha Heifetz. Clare Howick and Simon Callaghan’s "British Violin Sonatas" was hailed by MusicWeb International as a “fascinating collection of works, expertly performed with unalloyed musicality and commitment”. © SOMM Recordings
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Classical - Released September 8, 2017 | Naxos

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Framed by Edward Elgar’s deeply personal – and rather famous – Violin Sonata of 1918 and the bravura fireworks of his earlier Mazurka (1899), this programme is a fascinating insight into the rare repertoire of British music for violin and piano at the turn of the 20th century. Popular pieces such as Delius’s haunting Serenade can be found alongside premiere recordings such as that of Frank Bridge’s attractive Con moto or Cyril Scott’s contemplative Vesperale. Violinist Clare Howick, who has as strong interest in British music for her instrument, in particular by more confidential composers such as Cyril Scott, John Ireland or Frederick Delius (while Paul Patterson has composed his Second concerto for her), has recently made her debuts with the Philharmonia and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra among others, and has already played at prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall and the Royal Festival Hall.
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Classical - Released December 1, 2017 | Naxos

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This new release from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra led by Grant Llewellyn features Violin Concertos by exclusively British composers, including Paul Patterson, Kenneth Leighton, and Gordon Jacob. The featured soloist in these works is violinist Clare Howick. Described by The Strad as “playing with beguiling warmth and affection” and by American Record Guide as “simply spectacular”, Clare Howick is at the forefront of a generation of inspiring violinists. As a champion of new music, Clare has premiered many new works, both on disc and in performance. She recently gave the world premiere performance at St John’s Smith Square of Violin Concerto No.2 ('Serenade') by Paul Patterson, a song-like, wistful and exuberantly sparkling work, which was specially written for her. This is the piece’s world premiere recording. © Naxos
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Classical - Released February 12, 2007 | Dutton Epoch

Dutton's attention to neglected composer Cyril Scott turns to his music for violin and piano in this program by Clare Howick and Sophia Rahman. A few of the pieces were arranged from Scott's popular salon music for piano, but the larger ones he wrote specifically for violin and piano. The disc is anchored by the Sonata Lirica, a work that was not lost, but rather undiscovered and, as of the recording date, had yet to be published. It is as representative of Scott's style as any of his best-known piano or orchestral works. There is formal structure and thematic cohesion in the three movements, but these are disguised in such a way as to give the impression of free-form improvisation. Constant shifts in tonality from minor to major to pentatonic modalities and the inward-looking feeling of the smooth, singing lines make the sonata easy to hear and draw the listener in, wondering what lies beneath the somewhat haunting music. A lot of this has to do with the way Howick and Rahman perform Scott's music. They take the seemingly simple music of the shorter works and imbue it with more meaningful feeling with great subtlety. Lotus Land, one of Scott's few really well-known works, can be so overdone in exoticism and sensuality, but the two let it have more mystery. True, there is a lack of great variety in terms of mood and most of the music is quiet and flowing, but whereas Scott's music could be merely lovely and charming with no depth and not much imagination, they reveal it to be more complex than that first glance would imply. There is also that cultural misattribution of specific musical ideas in the Tallahassee Suite and the Danse Nègre -- not even carried out very inventively, at that -- which is representative of the times and continues to detract from Scott's reputation as a serious composer. In that regard, the program might have benefited from a replacement of some of the shorter works with one of Scott's other violin sonatas. However, for those wanting tonal, twentieth century violin music, there is much to like and enjoy here, even in repeated hearings. © TiVo