Violinist Daniel Hope and Pianist Simon Mulligan are a formidable team. Their approach to any repertoire is full-blooded and passionate, even in these rarely heard works. Theirs is a chemistry that comes across on recordings extremely well.
Elgar's Sonata for violin & piano in E minor, Op. 82 further demonstrates that this composer is unduly neglected except for a few works. The sonata is brilliantly written and is demanding in its outer movements, yet in the inner movement, Romance, it is as ethereal as anything Elgar ever wrote.
Gerald Finzi's brief but exquisite Elegy for violin & piano in F major is a work that should find its way into recitals more often. Nothing spectacular as far as execution demands, but just simply beautiful melodic arches, here caressed by Hope's warm golden tone and echoed by Mulligan's attentive nuances.
The recital concludes with another rarity, William Walton's Sonata for Violin and Piano, a work of fine construction and invention that, like the Elgar, once again proves that the music of Walton is too often shelved instead of performed. Hope and Mulligan shine in this testing work, meeting the aggressive attacks securely and seeking the plaintive moments with equal care. It is a sonata worth of many repeated hearings. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, February 06