from Musical Times, December 1949

Sonatas and concertos for the cello are few, for it takes a composer of experience and imagination to accompany the cello with piano or orchestra in such a way that the soloist shall have a clear-sounding part and genuine interplay with an accompaniment that does not betray reliance on a few types of texture or too frequent accommodation to an assertive partner.

Moeran's experience and imagination need no demonstration, and his new Sonata for Cello and piano quite hides any difficulties he may have had in surmounting the demands mentioned. It is indeed one of his finest works - finer, perhaps, than more ambitious works, such as the G minor Symphony - for there is in each of its three movements that consistency of form and quality which a rhapsodic composer can hope to achieve only in his full maturity.

With such a composer the melodic line takes precedence, and his themes must grow to climax organically; not for him the modern habit of nagging a few little figures into the twitching semblance of contrapuntal vitality, for counterpoint is more than imitative rhythms, and rhythms more than units of metre.

Every piece of this work is genuinely impassioned, and one cannot find a point at which the interest flags or the material belongs to a miniature conception. Indeed, since Delius's Cello Sonata, there seems to have been no better work in the romantic and rhapsodic style that so well suits the cello, for the style of Rubbra's splendid sonata does not invite comparison with Moeran's.

A.H.

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Every piece of this work is genuinely impassioned, and one cannot find a point at which the interest flags...