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THE STRAD September 1996

MUSIC REVIEW

Father of two illustrious musicians, Andrew and Julian, William Lloyd Webber was himself a

remarkable composer whose poised, abundantly lyrical works have returned to favour after

many years of unwarranted neglect. The composer himself tended to consider his works too

Romantic compared with his contemporaries, yet this is exactly why his music has such appeal

to today’s audiences. The Viola Sonatina, written at the height of his powers (1951), displays

the essential qualities of his style. Though its flavour of Celtic Romanticism recalls the works of

Bax and Ireland, it also displays a wealth of soaring, highly charged melody that clearly reveals

Lloyd Webber’s lifelong admiration for the music of Rachmaninov. This Sonatina should prove

an irresistible attraction to many viola players.

Robin De Smet