Shostakovich: Music for viola and piano – review

Lawrence Power (viola), Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano)

Lawrence Power, viola player with the Nash Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio, has a rapidly expanding solo discography exploring unfamiliar repertoire by York Bowen, Vaughan Williams, Takemitsu and now Shostakovich. This fine CD, with the incisive, agile Simon Crawford-Phillips on piano, consists of transcriptions from the 24 Preludes and The Gadfly, as well as the magnificent, dark Sonata for viola and piano Op 147 completed shortly before the composer's death in 1975. Unlike so many last works, Shostakovich wrote this with a knowledge that the end was near, quoting his own string quartets as well as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Crawford-Phillips and Power are eloquent interpreters, spare as well as generous in expressing the work's pervasive melancholy.


Fiona Maddocks

The GuardianTramp

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