WEDNESDAY 11 July 2012 at 7.30pm
Come and join us for a Potton Hall first as a member of the audience for a concert which is being recorded for release on CD.
Robin Ireland and Tim Horton formed their Duo in 2009. Robin was the violist of the celebrated Lindsay String Quartet for twenty years, and brings his enormous musical experience and his love of performing to the small but wonderful repertoire for viola and piano. Tim is pianist with Ensemble 360, and is one of the most highly regarded chamber music pianists in the country, as well as being increasingly admired as a solo pianist. Robin and Tim met in Sheffield, where they both live, and instantly discovered a deep musical rapport and mutual respect. Their Duo partnership forms a small but precious part of their careers. Jeremy Hayes has collaborated with both musicians for many years, as recording producer of The Lindsays and Ensemble 360 and he worked with both of them here at Potton Hall on their first CD together, of music by Prokofiev and Shostakovich. In this concert Robin and Tim will be playing three masterpieces: the two sonatas by Johannes Brahms and the Arpeggione Sonata by Franz Schubert.
With his two sonatas for viola and piano Brahms effectively established a new genre, because before they were written there were virtually no major sonatas for viola and piano, except for the unfinished sonata by Glinka. These two marvellous works were Brahms’s very last pieces of chamber music, written in his twilight years as sonatas for clarinet and piano which Brahms then adapted, with a good deal of recomposition for viola and piano. Brahms often liked to compose dissimilar pairs of works and that is certainly the case with these two sonatas, the turbulent passion of the first contrasting with the more mellow and intimate second sonata.
Schubert’s exquisite Sonata, D821 was the only work of any significance to have been composed for the arpeggione. This curious hybrid instrument, a cross between a guitar and a cello, was invented in Vienna in 1823 but never attained popularity. Schubert’s sonata languished in obscurity, unpublished for decades after his death and was discovered in Vienna by the great British scholar Sir George Grove – he of the music dictionary fame.
Copies of Robin’s and Tim’s CDs will be on sale at the concert, including their acclaimed recording of Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata and six pieces from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet
“The (Shostakovich) Sonata, which received its premiere after the composer’s death in 1975, has a hypnotic power and is brilliantly played here by Robin Ireland and Tim Horton.” (New Classics.com)
“From the opening notes we become aware of the viola’s warm and very singing human voice.” (International Record Review)
“Robin Ireland is at his lyrical best in the’ Balcony Scene’ and unleashes great reserves of sound in the menacing ‘ Dance of the Knights’” (The Strad)
“Ireland and his excellent colleague Tim Horton catch the soulful warmth of the Young Juliet……..Together they make a fine ensemble” (MusicWeb International)
Brahms: Sonata in F minor, Op.120 No.1
Schubert: Sonata in A minor, D821 (Arpeggione)
Brahms: Sonata in E flat major, Op.120 No.2
Tickets are £12 and can be booked online here or by calling the box office 01728 648265. Also available from Focus Organic, Halesworth and Serendipity, Southwold