Tertis was also the inspiration behind all of York Bowen's viola music. Lederer and Coop give us the glorious (and often jaw droppingly virtuoso) Cobbett Prize-winning Phantasy of 1918, as well as the 20-year-old composer's First Sonata from 1905 (whose exuberant concluding Presto emerges as a close cousin to the finale of his 1907 Viola Concerto). In both works I find little to choose between these newcomers and the similarly scrupulous and shapely performances by James Boyd and Bengt Forsberg.
There's plenty more Bowen on the companion disc, the most eyebrow-raising item being the Fantasie Quartet for four violas, whose considerable technical demands (not least some scarily vertiginous writing for the leader) are confidently met by Lederer and her three colleagues. Bowen joined Tertis and two others for the January 1910 premiere. Just over two years later, in London's Aeolian (now Wigmore) Hall, it was the turn of another composer/viola player, Frank Bridge, to partner Tertis in the first performance of his Lament for two violas, a deeply felt, resourcefully argued colloquy, eloquently served by Lederer and Dariusz Korcz.
Elsewhere, Lederer and pianist Bruce Murray forge a sympathetic alliance in Bowen's toothsome Melody for the G String and Rhapsody (the latter dating from as late as 1955). A very capable showing they make, too, in Bliss's imposing 1933 Sonata. Again, the sound may hardly be in the luxury class but the music-making is consistently sympathetic, and both these Centaur anthologies possess many sterling virtues.
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