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Viola Concerti

Patricia Pollett (viola)

$23   (Australian dollars)


buy at: AMC - Buywell - iTunes

Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra
Werner Andreas Albert (conductor)

This is Pollett's debut solo CD, and shows that the viola has more going for it than the traditional elegy!

(orch. Berio)
Op 120 no 1 for Viola and Piano
BruchRomance in F, Op 85
(orch Davidson)
Sonata in A minor, D821, 'Arpeggione'
Nigel SabinNew York Souvenir


The Italian composer Luciano Berio's approach to turning Brahms's F minor sonata for viola (or clarinet) into a viola concerto is markedly similar to Schoenberg's attitude to orchestrating the G minor piano quartet, except that Berio provided a few bars of his own at the very outset (still in the style of Brahms) by way of extending the introduction. For some reason, this bit of original Berio is omitted on Patricia Pollett's new recording (its existence is not even referred to in the booklet), so what what you hear is just what Brahms himself wrote, orchestrated in the manner of the composer. Although Berio's arrangement is neither more nor less adequate than Schoenberg's, I tend to feel that the transformation of the sonata is of more value, not least because of the dearth of works for viola and orchestra in the standard repertoire. Patricia Pollett is a very fine soloist indeed, passionate and big-toned, milking the lyricism of this music, just as she does Robert Davidson's equally discreet orchestration of Schubert's Arpeggione sonata. The two original works on the disc also bring out me best in Pollett. It's always a shock to remember that Max Bruch's Romance is a 20th-century piece (composed the same year as Petrushkca), and the romantic yearning that Pollett injects into the solo line does little to help with the credibility of this fact. Nigel Sabin's New York Souvenirs, somewhat belying its name, is an often serene piece. Manhattan, as the composer stresses in his program note, was outside his window while he was composing the piece in 1994. Beginning with a typically jogging minimalist lick (shades of Michael Torke and Philip Glass, in roughly equal parts), Sabin passes on to melodic and rhythmic figures that dimly suggest West Side Story, before coming out with a more blatant reference to "Yankee Doodle". It's light and effective, and it brings out the delicacy that is just as much a part of Pollett's playing as the aforementioned passion. The soloist is ably supported by the Queensland Philharmonic under Werner Andreas Albert (it's reliable playing, rather than inspirational stuff), and the recorded sound is warm, detailed and very natural.

© Andrew Ford
24 Hours

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 TP (1-901)



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