This disc is hardly going to change your life, but if you come across it I strongly recommend picking it up, for these are three very attractive works which receive excellent advocacy. In fact, the most immediately appealing is the second violin sonata by the least famous composer featured here, Thomas Dunhill (1877-1946) - yes, the tobacco company - a fluent and melodic work of no mean quality. It isn't remarkably profound, perhaps, but its lyrical, somewhat conservative sweetness is at least instantly appealing and bears repeated listening. It is well crafted and inventive enough, and in particular the gravely noble second movement is impressive.
Stanford's first sonata is a relatively early work (from 1880) and is, surprisingly, not quite on the level of that of his pupil Dunhill. But as always Stanford's writing is inventively melodic and formally accomplished, enough so to sustain the listener's interest throughout even without anything in particular sticking in memory (the passionate second movement is the strongest here as well). Bantock's third violin sonata was completed in 1940, but clearly belongs to the same tradition as the other works on the disc. It is a mostly tranquil, thoughtful but charming work - rather austere for the composer, perhaps, and possibly a surprise for those who mainly know Bantock through Hyperion's series of orchestral works. This one is more elegant and wistful than passionate and dramatic.
I have no qualms about the performances; Stanzeleit's sweet-toned violin playing is utterly appropriate for the music and even if some more fire could be asked for, I don't think the music suffers from a more distanced, wistful approach. She is well partnered by Fenyo, and they achieve a nice balance and sense of interplay between them without ever, again, attempting to plow any depths that probably aren't there. Sound quality is adequate. Recommended.