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Viola Recital: Magyar, Eniko - BLISS, A. / DELIUS, F. / BRIDGE, F. (The English Viola)

Composer(s):Bliss, ArthurBridge, FrankDelius, Frederick
Artist(s) Imai, Tadashi, piano • Magyar, Eniko, viola
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.572407
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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The viola, with its plangent tone, subtle sonority and lyrical qualities, is often overshadowed by its more brilliant-sounding sibling, the violin. An accomplished violist himself, Frank Bridge wrote little solo music for this instrument; only the Pensiero and Allegro appassionato were published in his lifetime, the other works on this disc being the composer’s arrangements of some of his violin pieces. Similarly, Delius’s Third Violin Sonata is heard here in an effective arrangement by the celebrated violist Lionel Tertis, the dedicatee of Bliss’s expressive Viola Sonata.


Review By Geoff Adams,Otago Daily Times,April 2010

The viola, with its plangent tone, subtle sonority and lyrical qualities, is often overshadowed by the violin, its more brilliant-sounding sibling. This debut disc by a young Hungarian pays tribute to the celebrated violist Lionel Tertis, who made an effective arrangement of Delius’ Violin Sonata No.3. Magyar plays it with soaring lines and rich tones. But the standout work and performance here is the Viola Sonata written by another British composer, Sir Arthur Bliss, who dedicated it to Tertis. It has four movements, the third with a furiant 6/16 time signature; Magyar copes very well, impressing throughout. Frank Bridge, who also played viola, wrote the seven brief miniatures, arrangements of his violin pieces, which occupy the final 25


Review By Julian Haylock,Classic FM,February 2010

[Excellent] The viola is an instrument with a mournful soul that only reveals itself to select few. Magyar is clearly one of them, for she plays it not as an alto cello or violin, but as a unique voice enriching the middle register. The point is well made by Delius’s Third Violin Sonata and a handful of miniatures by Bridge, most of which were originally for cello or violin, but in Magyar’s hands sound like viola originals. The Bliss Viola Sonata can feel structurally diffused at times, yet such is Magyar’s identification with the music’s spirit that it feels not a note too long.

Review By Michael Loos,,January 2010

Die Emanzipation der Viola gehört zu jenen musikalischen Entwicklungen des 20. Jahrhunderts, die vergleichsweise still erfolgten. Eine Reihe von Interpreten (William Primrose, Lionel Tertis), Komponisten (Bela Bartok, Bohuslav Martinu, William Walton) sowie Paul Hindemith in seiner Doppelfunktion verhalfen dem oft geschmähten Streichinstrument zu einer allmählichen Aufwertung. Heute existiert eine beachtliche Zahl von Solowerken, Konzerten und Kammermusikstücken für die Bratsche, herausragende Musiker wie Tabea Zimmermann, Kim Kashkashian oder Yuri Bashmet stehen gleichberechtigt neben anderen Instrumental-Solisten.


Review By Jay Harvey,The Indianapolis Star,January 2010

Viola in English gardens

Let’s put on our appropriate serious faces and stop beating the dead horse of viola jokes. Not too serious, but just serious enough to realize there is some good viola music out there that demands the best musicianship. Its crucial role in the string choir notwithstanding, the viola can come across just splendidly on its own.


Review By John Terauds,Toronto Star,December 2009

The violin’s neglected, deeper-voiced cousin gets its full due from London-based Hungarian Enikö Magyar and her piano accompanist Tadashi Imai in early-20th-century pieces from England that deserve to be heard far more often. The disc opens with the most Modern-sounding piece, the 1933 Viola Sonata by Arthur Bliss (1891–1975). It is followed by an arrangement for viola, by Lionel Tertis, of the sweet, 1930 Violin Sonata No. 3 by Frederick Delius (1862–1934). The prettiest music of all on the disc comes from seven pieces for viola and piano by Benjamin Britten’s composition teacher, Frank Bridge (1879–1941). Magyar’s technique has lyrical grace that makes magic out of this diverse program. Imai is her ideal counterpart on the piano.


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