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Charles H Parsons
American Record Guide, May 2014

For such an unusual program, only the finest of musicians is required. Jones and Thwaite fill that requirement. Jones is good at both instruments, finding a happy combination of robust and sensitive playing with a lovely tone. Thwaite’s accompaniments are discrete when needed, full-bodied as well. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Malcolm Hayes
BBC Music Magazine, February 2014

…Matthew Jones’s programme is about more than showcasing the obscure material that a composer’s centenary tends to unearth. There isn’t a single dud item here—instead, an interplay of moods and colours revealing, in the teenage Britten’s viola pieces like Reflection (with piano) and the solo Elegy, an open warmth of expression that the mature master seldom chose to develop.

Jones’s playing of both instruments enthrals. Annabel Thwaite’s accompaniments, beautifully shaded and weighted, are on the same superb level. © 2014 BBC Music Magazine

Richard Fairman
Gramophone, February 2014

Matthew Jones’s…playing of the Suite for violin and piano, Op 6, is alive to its quick-fire kaleidoscope of styles, a pre-echo of the Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. Britten’s arrangement of Bridge’s There is a Willow is nicely elegiac. Lachrymae…is rightly intense. It is good of Naxos to give us Britten’s solo violin and viola repertoire so neatly packaged. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

William Hedley
International Record Review, February 2014

The performances from Jones and Annabel Thwaite are exemplary, and the programme is unique. Admirers of Britten will not want to miss this. © 2014 International Record Review

David Vernier, December 2013

…here violinist/violist Matthew Jones and pianist Annabel Thwaite offer something for those who already have, but want more. On this excellent recording, we get an enlightening look at some of those forgotten or neglected gems.

…all of the works on this disc show the pleasures and sometimes prickly accompaniments that exquisitely revealed themselves to a teen-aged composer as he imagined the sound of a viola and piano—or solo viola, or violin and piano—and how that sound could be made into something inevitable, natural, and free.

And the performers give these works the care and respect they deserve—an impressive labor of love, since much of this music is neither easy to play nor likely to attract a lot of attention on the concert circuit. Nevertheless it’s hard to imagine more accomplished or committed advocates for this music than Jones and Thwaite. This is a disc that deserves a place on everyone’s “Britten Shelf”—and if you don’t have one of those, now’s the time. © Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2013

Though we know of Benjamin Britten as a composer, pianist and conductor, we never think of him as a violist, an instrument that he studied from the age of ten. The present disc contains his short works for both the viola and violin, all, apart from the familiar Lachrymae, written in the years 1925 and 1937…the Suite for Violin and Piano…brings together melodic invention and atonality. It also displays his sense of humour with a quirky waltz that concludes the five movements. Five years previous…he composed the rather sad Reflection for viola and piano, the same year as the sombre Elegy for solo viola, and one year after the Etude. As he played all three works points to the high standard he had achieved on the instrument at an early age. The following year,1931, came the Two Pieces for Violin entitled, The Moon and Going Down a Hill on a Bicycle both highly descriptive pieces. Turn the clock forward seven years and he was writing the highly demanding Reveille for the violinist, Antonio Brosa, and before the disc finally embarks on Lachrymae, we have the charming Valse from the twelve-year-old who would reuse it as part of his Simple Symphony. To fill out the release we have Britten’s arrangement of his mentor’s There is a Willow Grows Aslant a Brook for viola and piano…Here equally at home on the violin, the release features one of the UK’s finest violists, Matthew Jones, his partner, Annabel Thwaite always in high demand from the television studios to the concert hall. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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