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DELIUS Violin Sonatas

Violin Sonata in B major, Op. posth.
Violin Sonata No. 1
Violin Sonata No. 2
Violin Sonata No. 3

Susan Stanzeleit & Gusztav Fenyo

Naxos 8.572261 [TT: 77:13]

Frederick Delius’s still little-known violin sonatas (1892 - 1930) are assembled here complete. Their prevailing lyricism is best heard not straight through, and I am inclined to favour reverse order.

In the first composed, I was a little troubled by the chordal accompaniment in many passages, its lack of subtlety possibly reflecting the composer's disinterest with the instrument rather than the pianist's imagination? Delius had been a good violinist himself and the soaring lines are a gift to a sensitive violinist, which Susan Stanzeleit assuredly is.

He was very much an odd man out amongst composers of his time, hugely helped by the championship of Sir Thomas Beecham: ‘the last great apostle in our time of beauty and romance in music’ and in later years by his amenuensis Eric Fenby, who took down the last sonata by dictation.

A valuable release, and music which should appeal to younger violinists to provide contrast in recital programmes.

Peter Grahame Woolf