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Gary Higginson
MusicWeb International, February 2014

All of the performances are quite superb and in my view it would be difficult to find them bettered. It seems that this CD emerged out of a Viola Festival that Yuko Inoue directed in 2011. It offered young players a chance to show their abilities and included much forgotten, brand new or little known repertoire. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, February 2014

Liner-notes, recording and performances serve these romantic early twentieth century works very well indeed. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Carlos MarĂ­a Solare
The Strad, September 2013

This monumental, half-hour-plus piece tests most aspects of technique and requires not a little stamina as well. Supported to the hilt by Stephen Coombs, Yuko Inoue gives it an appropriately effusive reading, the unending melody of the Romance beautifully floated, the passages of mellifluous 6ths nicely intoned, the horn imitations given a suitable edge.

…Introduction and Andante op 5…receives a well-balanced, tight reading and the best recording quality. © 2013 The Strad Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2013

In the years leading up to the First World War, Benjamin Dale was regarded among the most promising young composers coming from the Royal Academy of Music. Then by a dreadful twist of fate he was on holiday in Germany when war was declared and he spent the next four years in a detention camp. Both physically and mentally scared by the experience, he did briefly compose when he returned home, but spent the rest of his life teaching, mainly at the Academy, dying at the age of fifty-eight in 1943. At the time he was just twenty-year-old and set to work on the Fantasy-Prelude and Romance for viola and piano. He added a final movement the following year, with the completed work premiered in 1907. It was in the mainstream of British music fashionable at the beginning of the century, the score full of melodic ideas and gestures that certainly impress the listener. At more than half and hour it is a substantial score with a highly effective piano part. The Phantasy for Viola and Piano, completed in 1910 is in the same mould, though in 1911 the Introduction and Andante for Six Violas, shows him veering into a world of sensual beauty. We will never know what might have been, and we are indebted to the outstanding violist, Yuko Inoue, and her fine pianist, Stephen Coombs, for bringing his very existence to our notice. The recording, made appropriately in the RAM is very good. © David’s Review Corner

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