SAIN SCD 4058
Louise Jones (violin)
Kathron Sturrock (piano)
SAIN SCDC 2089
Louise Jones (violin)
Malcolm Miller (piano)
Reviewed by: Colin Anderson
Reviewed: March 2002
CD No: SAIN - SCD 4058
These are thoroughly enjoyable CDs that confirm Louise Jones as not only a fine technical player but also a very musical one. If, just occasionally, her tone seems a little pinched – her discreet and subtle use of vibrato is welcome though – this is ’English’ playing at its most intrinsic; Louise Jones continues the line of Albert Sammons, Henry Holst and Hugh Bean.
She certainly scores a bullseye with an attractive version of Elgar’s Salut d’Amour that is lovingly turned and heartfelt. Elgar’s indelible melody gives its name to Jones’s encore CD, one that includes a number of familiar Welsh tunes arranged by Jones and Malcolm Miller, who throughout is an attentive accompanist and well balanced as part of a good recording. Such songs as “All Through the night” and “Men of Harlech” are simply played and seem rather more touching in these intimate surroundings.
Aside from the novelty numbers, Mozart’s Sonata in G (K301) is judiciously performed, classical but expressive, and Handel’s (excerpted) Sonata is eloquent and noble. Some rarer encore-type pieces, such as the Sibelius and Horovitz, are agreeable, while the famous Kreisler items bring direct competition from the man himself and a whole host of violinists who have savoured these little gems. Jones gives us a dancing Liebeslied and a captivating Schon Rosmarin. It’s easy to detest Massenet’s ’Meditation’ but Jones rehabilitates it with unforced emotion.
If the odd note is intonationally questionable and the recording preserves occasional awkwardness – and one wonders how spontaneous the (time-honoured) portamento is – Jones’s unpretentious and shapely playing proves moreish on this unhackneyed collection.
On the other CD, Jones gives intelligent and persuasive accounts of the Mozart and Beethoven sonatas, the former is searching and thoughtfully nuanced, the latter unhurried and joyous. In between there are more Welsh melodies, Vitali’s big Chaconne, given with depth of purpose, and a splendidly big-hearted account of perhaps my favourite Kreisler piece, the majestic and intricate Präludium und Allegro.
Kathron Sturrock is more than an accompanist, and this CD, the earlier of the two releases, although less tangibly recorded, is the one from Sain to opt for – that said the two CDs are complementary. Nor should one forget Jones’s 2-CD volume of Delius on Meridian. Jones’s respect for the composers she plays, and her warm personality, make a handsome combination.