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Heritage Chamber

A Tribute to Ralph Holmes

Ralph Holmes and Peter Dickinson

HTGCD228 – 5013993891697

Ralph Holmes was one of the leading violinists of his generation. This release aims to supplement the small Holmes repertoire on CD and catch him at the height of his powers. With the exception of the Bartók (which appears here courtesy of Decca), the performances were made for the BBC in the 1980s and are previously unpublished, displaying Holmes’ versatility as an artist.

Beethoven: Spring Sonata
Bartók: Sonata for solo violin
Bax: Sonata No. 3
Delius: Lullaby for a Modern Baby

69 minutes

‘Their performance is a zestful and dazzling rediscovery of a familiar masterpiece … enchantingly done.’
– Nigel Simeone, International Record Review – November 2014

‘Holmes and Dickinson interpret the Beethoven ‘Spring Sonata’ with zest and appeal, the luscious tones of the violin supported with lively and lucid piano textures… a highly individual and arresting interpretation’
– Arietta (The Journal of the Beethoven Society in Europe) Vol. 8, 2014
 
‘In Holmes and Dickinson’s hands Beethoven’s evergreen (most popular)Violin Sonata, No 5, ‘The Spring’, has an invigorating spontaneity with currents of burgeoning growth. It’s quite the equal of any recording from within the ranks of the elect: Elman, Erica Morini, Adolf Busch with Rudolf Serkin, Menuhin and Kempff or the monumentally vaunted Anne Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis.’
– Music and Vision August 2012
 
‘His firm tone and strongly shaped phrasing are impressively consistent and help to bring an almost epic quality to this powerful, uncompromising music.’
– Gramophone of Bartók
 
‘Three previously unreleased BBC recordings and a CD transfer remind us of an illustrious British violinist who died tragically young (1937-84). The account of Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata, OP 24 in F, has a brilliant, soaring freshness (echoed by Dickinson’s playing), a forwardness of sound not matched by this version of Bartok’s solo Sonata, taken from an Argo LP, though the interpretative intensity here is powerful. Arnold Bax’s chromatically ardent two-movement Sonata No 3 is made sumptuous and vivid; and the encore, Delius’s tiny Lullaby for a Modern Baby, for piano, with an obbligato to be hummed or, as here, taken by muted violin, is sweet and captivating.’
– Sunday Times ‘This Week’ – ‘On Record’

Track Listing

Beethoven – Sonata for Piano and Violin, Opus 24, The Spring
 

  1. Allegro
  2. Adagio molto espressivo
  3. Scherzo: Allegro molto
  4. Rondo: Allegro non troppo
  5.  
    Bartok – Sonata for Solo Violin (1944)
     

  6. Tempo di ciaccona
  7.  Fuga
  8. Melodia
  9. Presto
  10.  
    Bax – Sonata No. 3 in G minor for Violin and Piano (1927)
     

  11. Moderato
  12. Allegro molto
  13.  

  14. Delius – Lullaby for a Modern Baby (1922-23)