A selection of letters The Strad receives each month from its readers around the world: October 2023 issue
Lionel Tertis (above) may have been a saint in many ways, but he did Rebecca Clarke no favours as a composer, as Shiry Rashkovsky suggests in her article ‘Seeking Utopia: celebrating the friendship between Tertis and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ (bit.ly/47jorQ3). According to Clarke, Tertis swept into the artists’ room after the concert when she introduced her already world-famous Viola Sonata to London, bellowing, ‘Rebecca, you have saved the viola!’ He immediately secured permission to perform the piece himself, relied on Clarke to help him find a substitute when his chosen pianist proved inadequate, performed it precisely once, never touched it again, and never – to Clarke’s disgust – mentioned it in any of his books, which effectively defined the standard repertoire for generations…
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