Concerts in the West

3rd March 2011 The Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, Dorset

4th March 2011 Ilminster Arts Centre, Somerset

5th March Hatherleigh Community Centre, Devon

Diana Mathews – viola
Jonathan Beatty – piano

It was wonderful to play the same programme in three such different venues.  From the cosy intimacy of the theatre in Lyme Regis, to the energy of the Arts Centre in Ilminster, and to the multi-purpose community hall in Hatherleigh it was a joy to share our love of British music from the first half of the twentieth century with our audiences

Vaughan Williams Romance for viola and piano was found amongst Vaughan Williams’ belongings after his death and was first performed in 1962 by Bernard Shore. His links with Lionel Tertis throughout his life ensure that he not only was aware of potential hazards when writing for the viola, but also of its possibilities and he makes full use of the sonority of the viola.

[audio:|titles=Vaughan Williams Romance]

Benjamin Dale(1885-1943)  wrote his Phantasy for viola and piano Op. 4 (1911) as W.W. Cobbett was hoping to revive the old English form of the Fancie or Phantasy and was consequently encouraging British composers to write using this one-movement form. The folk-style is evident throughout the changes of tempo and mood. This work, as well as Dale’s Suite for viola and piano, was written for and premiered by Lionel Tertis who took a keen interest in Dale as he started his career.

[audio:|titles=Benjamin Dale Phantasy]

Sir Arnold Bax’ (1883-1953) Sonata for viola and piano, completed in 1922 is lodged in the realm of the Celtic folk idiom although no Irish folk tune is actually quoted. Bax had become particularly interested in the viola after hearing the Czech viola player Oskar Nedbal in the 1890s. Later, he wrote several works for Lionel Tertis.

[audio:|titles=Bax Sonata Second Movement]

Brahms Sonata in E flat major for viola and piano

[audio:|titles=Brahms Sonata in E flat Major Last Movement]

Bach Viola da Gamba Sonata in D major

[audio:|titles=Bach Viola da Gamba Sonata in D major First and Second Movements]