Sonata for Two Violins (1930)

The world premiere recording - hitherto unreleased - as heard on BBC Radio 3
Performers: Donald Scotts & Mary Nemet
Recorded in Australia, June 1982 by ABC

1 - Allegro non troppo 5'53"
2 - Presto 4'02"
3 - Passacaglia 5'28

SQ=Standard Quality: 128kbps stereo LAME 3.91 encoded MP3
HQ=High Quality: Variable bit rate joint-stereo LAME 3.91 encoded MP3

Learn more about the Sonata for Two Violins - click here

Moeran late 20's
E. J. Moeran in the late 1920's

About this recording:

The Sonata for Two Violins, written in 1930, has remained an elusive work for lovers of Moeran. It is the only major instrumental work that's never received a commercial release, and until now it's unlikely that anyone has heard a professional recording of the piece.

For some time it was thought that the only surviving score was probably the original manuscript, held in the archive of Moeran's music in Melbourne, Australia, although a printed copy has recently been unearthed in a British university library. Meanwhile it is thought that the piece has not been performed in public since the early 1950's.

Back in 1982, a series of recording sessions took place in the studios of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, instigated by John Talbot, now in charge of making recordings for the British Music Society. Three Moeran works were recorded in these sessions - the First String Quartet, recorded by the Melbourne Quartet (including Scotts and Nemet), the Violin Sonata by Scotts, with Talbot at the piano, and the work presented here.

These three recordings were then offered to Chandos, the British classical record company, who chose to release only the Quartet and Violin Sonata. I strongly suspect that the additional fifteen minutes of the Sonata for Two Violins would have been too awkward a pairing for a vinyl LP release at the time.

Since then the master recording has languished in the vaults down under - until now! John Talbot retained a copy on cassette, and having originally presented that recording here further enquiries were made in Australia in an attempt to find the master tapes. Following the permission of the performers to make this recording freely available on the Internet, ABC managed to unearth the original masters and digital copies of these are now available exclusively from this site.

This would appear to be a first - the world premiere recording of a major classical work of a long departed composer is made available only via the Internet. I'm sure that, after downloading the files above, you'll agree it was well worth it! Radio Three's CD Review programme certainly thought it worth playing the 2nd movement when this page was first put onto the Internet.

Finally a short postscript - Don Scotts' pedigree in championing Moeran seems in no doubt by his recordings both here and on the Chandos releases. However, you may not know that he also played Moeran's Violin Concerto in the Australian premiere performance back in the 1960's!

Recording ©2002 Scotts/Nemet/ABC/Andrew Rose
Copyright notice: The files here are freely provided for educational and listening use, and are not to be used for any profitable gain.

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...Back in June 1982, a series of recording sessions took place in the studios of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation...

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