The Stanford Legacy

Having been appointed Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music in 1883 and Professor of Music at Cambridge University in 1888, Stanford taught many of the leading British composers of the day. To name but a few, these included Frank Bridge, Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arthur Bliss and the other two composers represented on this disc, John Ireland and Rebecca Clarke.


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Superb performances from Martin Outram and Julian Rolton of works for viola and piano on a new release from Nimbus, beautifully captured in a fine recording

A new disc from Nimbus entitled The Stanford Legacy draws on this aspect of Stanford with violist Martin Outram  and pianist Julian Rolton playing works by Stanford and two of his pupils, John Ireland and Rebecca Clarke. Of the works performed here only Rebecca Clarke’s sonata was actually written for viola and piano. Stanford’s own Sonata in F major for Clarinet and Piano Op.129 (1911) was arranged for Viola and Piano by Henry Waldo Warner (1874-1945) a member of the London String Quartet, in 1919 with the composer’s approval.

Martin Outram brings a fine warm melody over a quite lovely fluid piano accompaniment from Julian Rolton in the Allegro moderato, developing through some lovely passages with many varied ideas. The viola in many ways adds a greater emotional edge, these two players weaving some tremendous passages, which are full of passion and reveal Stanford’s fine melody in all its beauty.

There is no doubt that this arrangement of Ireland’s sonata works impressively well.  These are superb performances, beautifully captured in a fine recording. There are excellent notes from Martin Outram. The Classical Reviewer

"This disc draws together the music of Stanford and two of his pupils, Rebecca Clarke and John Ireland, in touching and convincing performances." ****BBC Music Magazine

“Quite splendidly played by Martin Outram and Julian Rolton, lovers of English music will be in their element with this release of viola sonatas.” Michael Cookson,

"Outram and Rolton go a long ways to give us an expressively deep reading of these three sonatas. In the end we return to these works with real pleasure. I imagine all modern era Anglophiles will be drawn positively to this album. Yet it will please anyone looking for late romantic chamber music of stature. Bravo." ClassicalModernMusic.blogspot

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