Presenting “Gems Rediscovered.”
With pianist Nicholas Shaneyfelt.
The burnished, golden sonorities of the viola – the “forgotten stepsister” to the violin – are all too seldom heard in chamber compositions. Viola virtuoso supreme Spencer Martin seeks to redress this injustice with “Forgotten Gems,” a collection of lovely and beautifully crafted works for viola and piano from four little-known composers of the late-romantic era … works that definitely deserve to be restored to the sadly limited repertoire of chamber music for the viola. Composers include Paul Juon, Ernest Walker, Benjamin Dale, and Robert Fuchs.
The program features lush and varied sonatas by fairly obscure composers, including Russian-born Paul Juon – who has been called the “Russian Brahms.” On that subject, the often “abrasive” and hard-to-please Brahms held the music of Austrian notable Robert Fuchs in very high regard. There’s also striking music from Englishman Ernest Walker – plus a touching Romance by Benjamin Dale, another British composer.