Written during George Benjamin’s final years at school in London this bold three-movement work is above all a sonata for violin and piano, not a sonata with violin and piano accompaniment. Slow duos contrast with more dynamic interactions in the outer movements, while the central scherzo exploits some unexpected sonorities and builds to an explosive conclusion. A thrilling 25-minute tour de force, offering a fascinating insight into Benjamin’s early development.
‘The personality is already formed and what outside influence there is thoroughly absorbed.’
The Times (Gerald Larner), 15 July 1998