Blossoming viola soloist gracefully takes on the mantle of Tertis
The Strad Issue: May 2020
Description: Blossoming viola soloist gracefully takes on the mantle of Tertis
Musicians: Timothy Ridout (viola) Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne/Jamie Phillips
Works: Vaughan Williams: Suite. Martinů: Rhapsody-Concerto. Hindemith: Trauermusik. Britten: Lachrymae op.48a
Catalogue Number: CLAVES 50-3000
Two years after his debut recital dedicated to the music of Vieuxtemps, Timothy Ridout is back with a quartet of orchestrally accompanied pieces from the mid-20th century that triumphantly charts his artistic growth. Ridout seems ideally suited to take on the English repertoire associated with Lionel Tertis. The motley collection of genre pieces that make up Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Suite fires his lyrical fantasy and impish sense of humour – not to mention the meltingly beautiful tone he coaxes from his Peregrino di Zanetto viola. A drawback, particularly in this idiosyncratically orchestrated piece, is the highly artificial recording balance. Best in this respect are the two pieces with string orchestra, both of which present Ridout as a primus inter pares; his cadential phrases at the end of Hindemith’s Trauermusik emerge from the orchestral chords with perfect timing.
The Variations of Britten’s Lachrymae are contrastingly characterised to convincing effect – the rubato in the first one is stretched almost to breaking point but Ridout pulls it off, and he achieves a haunting non-vibrato at the very end (balance with the orchestral principals could have been better gauged in this consort-like moment). The irregular rhythms of Martinů’s Rhapsody-Concerto sound completely natural in Ridout’s hands, he alternates between unobtrusive technical brilliance in the fast sections and a disarmingly gorgeous singing tone in the piece’s concluding moments.
CARLOS MARÍA SOLARE