PETER MAXWELL DAVIES (1934-2016): Sonata for Violin Alone*, Sonata for Violin and Piano*, Dances from The Two Fiddlers*, Piano Trio A Voyage to Fair Isle. * - World Premiere Recordings.

Catalogue Number: 01S046

Label: Naxos

Reference: 8.573599

Format: CD

Price: $11.98

Description: The solo violin sonata is a late work, from 2013, and like a number of the composer's last pieces it has both a prevailingly elegiac mood and a remarkable sense of 'summing up' of ideas that were important to him, though this is not to deny the vigor that was present in Davies' output up to the very end. It begins with an intense, rather austere soliloquy, alternating quasi-liturgical monody and strained, emotionally charged chords. This begins to share space with folk-like rhythmic material after a while, and halfway through the piece, after what is clearly a 'cadenza', this becomes predominant. The introspective mood is re-established, and the piece ends in serenity. The 2008 sonata has a kind of program, referring to a lasting preoccupation of the composer's; the art, architecture and atmosphere of Rome, referenced in several works, including the 7th 'Naxos' Quartet (05I083), arguably the heart of that cycle of works. The single-span work comprises a succession of episodes, including a quoted folksong and many evocations of bells. The two dances, adapted from a children's opera, are an example of the endearingly light, folksy side of the thorny modernist's output, while the trio is one of his depictions of the solemn wilderness of islands and seascapes around his home in the Orkneys, based on a plainchant and containing folk music allusions. Duccio Ceccanti (violin), Matteo Fossi (piano), Bruno Canino (piano - sonata), Vittorio Ceccanti (cello).

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