Tempo

Rawsthorne had given notice of impending radicalism in the Theme and Variations, recorded by the two violins of Peter Sheppard Skærved and Christine Sohn.The work is ‘an astonishing display of compositional virtuosity’, says McCabe, whose ’emotional scope […] is enormous’, and Sheppard Skærved and Sohn support his claim with playing of passionate intensity in the finest performance of the work that I’ve yet heard. Tamami Homna joins Sheppard Skærved in the Sonata for violin and piano of 1959, and extraordinary marriage of wit, elegance and power – and yet there’s always that sense that Rawsthorne mustn’t offend against propriety: you never really know what he is feeling. The disc contains two works by McCabe himself : the Maze Dances for solo violin (1973), which demand, says Sheppard Skærved in his notes, a ‘”Modern-zigeuner” technical aesthetic ‘ (and remind me directly of the Ysaÿe solo sonatas, op. 27),and the more explicitly modernist Star Preludes (1978) for violin and piano which seems at first not to know where is wants to go but soon picks up direction and purpose.

—Unnamed reviewer