for viola and piano

Francis Pott

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for viola and piano

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Composer Francis Pott
Year of Composition 2013
Duration ca.30'
ISMN 9790570682058
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-fp1vs1


Written for the London-based, Japanese-born violist Yuko Inoue, this work was first performed by her with the composer at the Lake District Summer Music annual festival, Ambleside, on 12 August 2014. Recorded for CD the following October, it was released by EM Records on 16 December 2014. It was performed again by the same artists at its official launch on 04 February 2015 at London College of Music, University of West London.

The EM Records CD is available here.

Pott has a distinctive voice of his own. … [The title of the Viola Sonata] refers to two towers on the Isle of Man. …This background information is interesting, but you don’t have to know it to enjoy this superb sonata. …The finale is a virtuoso tour de force. These few words are sadly inadequate to evoke the power of this dramatic and superbly wrought work. …The composer is …clearly a formidable pianist. No praise is too high for Yuko Inoue, whose viola sings with magnificent, throbbing intensity throughout its range and throughout the work. …This is music of great beauty and integrity, and the performance fully does it justice. It would be criminal to let it pass you by.

– William Hedley, International Record Review, March 2015

In his Viola Sonata of 2013 Pott proves himself a major talent, and he evinces a compelling fluency in his highly personal harmonic language. His affinity for extended lyricism is affecting not only for the viola’s ruminative tone and the rich, eloquent textures of his piano-writing, but also for the atmosphere, the sense of place in his evocations of the Isle of Man landscape, and the articulate, contrapuntal interplay of voices. The same may be said of his impressive [German language] settings of Akhmatova and Pasternak in the collection Einzige Tage of 2010, which have an immediacy, pathos and freshness. This is a CD well worth exploring.

– Jeremy Dibble, Gramophone, November 2015

The [Viola] Sonata is a fine, arresting work… Though the music is in the English tradition it is not backward-looking; instead the piece restlessly explores keys and interesting contemporary harmonies. It’s big, surging, assertive music with a very strong melodic vein. This is a very fine composition [and] …a significant addition to the repertoire. Yuko Inoue and Francis Pott give the Sonata passionate advocacy.

This disc contains two rewarding and accessible works in what are surely definitive performances. Pott is a significant composer and it’s good to have these two fine examples of his recent work made widely available.

– John Quinn, Musicweb International, July 2015