Pott: Sonata for Viola and Piano (Tooryn Vannin – The Towers of Man); Einzige Tage

Reviewed on Tue 01 Sep, 2015

In terms of style this is ripe English, music that is impassioned and pastoral, belonging to the early part of the last century, full of melody, emotion and eloquence.

These two substantial pieces by Francis Pott (b 1957) include his impressive 30-minute Sonata for Viola and Piano (2013), inspired by architecture and geography. In terms of style this is ripe English, music that is impassioned and pastoral, belonging to the early part of the last century, full of melody, emotion and eloquence. Frank Bridge, Herbert Howells and their contemporaries come most to mind; this is music that paints pictures and stirs the imagination and soul. Yuko Inoue is the notable violist, the composer also inspiring at the piano. The song-cycle Einzige Tage (2010) sets German-language poems by Anna Akhmatova and Boris Pasternak, nine in total and playing for 43 minutes. Alla Kravchuk, this time with Simon Phillips at the keyboard, brings drama and heartfelt expression to these harmonious, vivid and inviting settings, for which texts and translations are included in the booklet. The very clear recordings help the recommendation.
–Colin Anderson