Extracts from the Sonata in A minor for Violin and Piano by Ralph Vaughan Williams, performed by Rupert Marshall-Luck (violin) and Matthew Rickard (piano) and issued on the label EM Records (EMR CD006).
Vaughan Williams’s Violin Sonata was written towards the end of his life, in 1954, and was first performed on his eighty-second birthday by the violinist Frederick Grinke, to whom the work is dedicated, and the pianist Michael Mullinar. Even at such an advanced age, Vaughan Williams continued to confound those who thought they knew what to expect from his music: the characteristic and well-known features of his compositional style, such as the distinctive modal harmonies and melodic structures derived from those of folk-song, are certainly present, but they are here offered within a tautly confrontational context that is far removed from the tranquil intimacy of works such as 'The Lark Ascending' or 'Silent Noon'.
For more details of the groundbreaking label EM Records, please visit em-records.com, where a full catalogue is available. The artists' websites may be seen at rupertluck.com and matthewrickard.co.uk.
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