Listening Room

12 Lennox in ParisLennox in Paris
Emmanuel Bach; Jenny Stern
Willowhayne Records WHR070 (


Sonatina for Violin and Piano III. Allegretto - Un poco piu vivo - Allegro Listesso tempo - Allegro moderato Tempo rubato - Tempo di Valse - Andante


Presto in B flat major

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The young English violinist Emmanuel Bach is paired with pianist Jenny Stern on Lennox in Paris – Music for violin and piano by Lennox Berkeley, Lili Boulanger & Francis Poulenc (Willowhayne Records WHR070

Berkeley lived in Paris from 1926 to 1932, studying with Nadia Boulanger and Ravel and counting Poulenc among his musical friends. Only one of his works here – the Violin Sonata No.1 – was written during that time, the Sonatina dating from 1942 and the Elegy and Toccata Op.33 Nos. 2 & 3 from 1950.

Bach’s playing seems quite tentative, not being helped by an over-prominent piano balance, and one can’t help feeling that these are works deserving of far more colourful and insightful performances.

The French pieces fare much better. There’s a lovely touch in the Boulanger pieces – Nocturne, Cortège and D’un matin du printemps – a sweet tone and nice feel to the middle movement of the Poulenc Sonata, and some assured playing in the Heifetz transcriptions of Poulenc’s Mouvements perpétuels and Presto in B-flat Major.

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