Jones & Miller on Sain

0 of 5 stars

Moto perpetuo
Salut d’Amour, Op.12
Violin Sonata in F, Op.1/12
Horovitz (arr. Jones/Miller)
Paguera (from Two Majorcan Pieces for clarinet and piano)
Schön Rosmarin
MassenetThais – Meditation
Morris (arr. Jones/Miller)
Hwiangerdd Mair [Mary’s Lullaby]
Violin Sonata in G, K301
The Swan (The Carnival of the Animals)
Die Biene
Romance, Op.72/2
Traditional (arr. Jones/Miller)
Ar hyd y nos [All Through the Night]
Gwyr Harlech [The March of the Men of Harlech]
Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn [Shepherding the White Wheat]
Nos Galan [Deck the Halls]

Louise Jones (violin)
Malcolm Miller (piano)

Reviewed by: Richard Whitehouse

Reviewed: April 2002

A winner from among recent miscellanies of shorter pieces, “Salut d’Amour” gets the balance right between sonatas, transcriptions and encores.

Mozart’s G major Sonata is among his most ingratiating – Louise Jones letting the mellifluous ’Allegro’ speak for itself (with Malcolm Miller’s spirited interplay a delight), and pointing-up the gentle wit of the ’Allegretto’. Two movements from Handel’s F major Sonata, an elegant ’Adagio’ and lively ’Allegro’, have a lightness of touch to make one regret that the whole work was not included.

On the title track, Jones’s limpid phrasing conveys sentiment without sentimentality. Carl Bohm’s Moto Perpetuo has quickfire virtuosity, Paganini’s Cantabile an appealing melodic eloquence. The Bee is a sparkling bagatelle by the ’other’ Franz Schubert, while Sibelius’s wistful Romance is a reminder of his innate feel for the violin. The elegant Liebeslied and insinuating Schön Rosmarin represent Fritz Kreisler, doyen of encore writers, both given with winsome expression.

Jones includes her arrangements of five popular Welsh songs. The disc opens with a forthright rendering of “All Through the Night”, making particularly effective use of the descant melody in the final verse – as do resolute accounts of “The March of the Men of Harlech” and “Deck the Halls”. “Mary’s Lullaby”, originally composed by Haydn Morris, has an understated charm, and “Shepherding the White Wheat” an affecting poignancy. The transcription of Saint-Saëns’s ’The Swan’ retains the music’s placidity if not its warmth, while Marsick’s effective reduction of Massenet’s ’Meditation’ avoids any cloying overtones. Joseph Horovitz’s ’Paguera’ makes for an entertaining and evocative conclusion.

Recorded with a believable violin-and-piano perspective, this is a disc programmable in part or playable as a whole – either option yields repeated rewards.

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