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A Tribute to Ralph Holmes

A Tribute to Ralph Holmes

Track Listing Time MP3
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano and Violin, Op. 24, The Spring
1 Allegro 7:20
2 Adagio molto espressivo 5:48
3 Scherzo: Allegro molto 1:09
4 Rondo: Allegro non troppo 6:41
Bartok: Sonata for Solo Violin (1944)
5 Tempo di ciaccona 9:40
6 Fuga 4:44
7 Melodia 6:42
8 Presto 5:09
Bax: Sonata No. 3 in G minor for Violin and Piano (1927)
9 Moderato 9:55
10 Allegro molto 9:22
11 Delius: Lullaby for a Modern Baby (1922-23) 2:30

Ralph Holmes died in 1984, aged 47, at the height of his powers as one of Britain’s finest violinists. He has been forgotten too easily (though I vividly remember hearing towering performances as a schoolboy near Bournemouth, where he played regularly with the BSO) and judging by a recent CD tribute, curated by his friend and pianist Peter Dickinson, RH was ‘irreplaceable’ – as Vernon Handley described him.

Holmes studied at the Academy with David Martin, George Enescu in Paris and Ivan Galamian in New York. He was a revered professor at the Academy and played on one of our finest Strads. No violinist, arguably, has ever quite had the range of repertoire of Holmes ” certainly not in this country ” and this recital of previously unpublished BBC recordings of Beethoven, Bartok and Bax reinforces his genuine versatility. More than that, there is a warmth and uncompromising engagement which is profoundly moving. The ‘Spring’ Sonata is radiant and the Bartok Solo Sonata quite engrossing.

A fitting tribute, thank you, Prof Dickinson for refreshing our ears and minds with the achievements of a unique Academy figure.

Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Principle, Royal Academy of Music

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