1917: Works for Violin and Piano
Tamsin Waley-Cohen’s love for Debussy’s Violin Sonata of 1917 led her to assemble four works for violin and piano written at that date or near it. The Respighi was an obvious choice; then she discovered that Sibelius had written his Op 81 collection at that time too, while 1917 was the date when Elgar wrote his Sonata, one of his three late chamber works.
The date is not the only quality that the works share: each has an echo of the Spanish. That is true not only of the Debussy. The central movement of the Elgar, with its strange pizzicato effects over a slithering melodic line, certainly has something of a Spanish flavour. In the Sibelius pieces it is not only the Aubade that echoes Spanish music, with its spread chords and pizzicatos, but the opening Mazurka. The Rondino too, marked Allegretto grazioso. The Respighi is mainly distinctive for the elaborate piano-writing, superbly played by Huw Watkins, not least in the tender melancholy of the central slow movement.
Waley-Cohen plays with an obvious love of the music, most sympathetically accompanied by Watkins. Fine sound, with an excellent sense of presence and clean separation.