Viola Dolorosa


by Richard Whitehouse for Musical Option

July 1, 2016

… Georg Hamann (violist of the Aron Quartet, whose cycle of the Schoenberg quartets on Preiser is among the best available) similarly has the measure of Pieta,
not least through his close accord with pianist Akari Komiya in what a formidable duo partnership. This latter disc also takes in the two principal viola pieces by Britten - the smouldering pathos of the early Elegy (1930)
and the stylistically more mature Lochrymoe (1950), whose varied 'reflections' (rather than variations) on a Dowland melody presage the climactic emergence of that theme.
Britten's later transcription for strings may yield greater expressive nuance, but this original version has its own potency when so skilfully rendered. …

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