Jones & Sturrock on Sain

0 of 5 stars

Violin Sonata in F, Op.24 (Spring)
Apres un reve
Präludium und Allegro
Sonata for piano and violin in E minor, K304
Traditional (arr. Jones)
Dafydd y Garreg Wen [David of the White Rock]
Lisa Lan [Fair Lisa]
Chaconne in G minor

Louise Jones (violin)
Kathron Sturrock (piano)

Reviewed by: Richard Whitehouse

Reviewed: April 2002
CD No: SAIN - SCD-4058

Few debut recitals outlive their function as calling-cards for the artist in question, but that by Louise Jones is one such. The programme is arranged so that the two sonatas enclose a variety of encores and transcriptions.

Mozart’s Sonata in E minor – his only minor-key work for the medium – is distinguished by the pathos of its ’Allegro’ and wistfulness of the ’Menuet’ that follows. Jones responds to these qualities in full measure, above all in her limpid rendering of the latter’s brief but affecting trio.

Jones herself contributes transcriptions of two Welsh folksongs – the evergreen “David of the White Rock”, with its vein of pensive melancholy, and the timeless and ethereal “Fair Lisa”. Tomaso Antonio Vitali’s Chaconne in G minor puts the violin through its paces in a cumulative if protracted sequence of variations. Jones responds with no mean agility, but sounds more involved in Kreisler’s Präludium und Allegro – among his more substantial miniatures, despatched with incisive bravura. Gluck’s Mélodie has a suitably elegant restraint, while Fauré’s plaintive Apres un reve avoids mawkishness through Jones’s subtly varied use of vibrato.

While Jones’s account of Beethoven’s ’Spring’ Sonata is not revelatory in an interpretative sense, it savours the work’s freshness of expression to the full. The ’Allegro’, with its indelible opening melody, is thoughtful yet never inhibited, while the closing ’Rondo’ has a decidedly lyrical resolve. Even finer are the hushed intensity of the ’Adagio’, violin and piano dovetailing in perfect accord during the final bars (throughout the disc, Kathron Sturrock’s pianism is exceptional), and the urbanity of the brief but characterful ’Scherzo’.

Sound is excellent throughout, with the balance between violin and piano – so often difficult to manage in the studio – a model of its kind. A debut recital of uncommon maturity and insight.

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