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James H. North
Fanfare, January 2019

Peter Sheppard Skærverd delivers his usual suavity, his violin pure and true even in the highest harmonics, his viola warm and unusually full-bodied. Pianist Roderick Chadwick matches his eloquence. A keeper, then, for one of the finest viola sonatas since Hindemith. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, January 2019

The sonatas here are from various periods in Hans Werner Henze’s life. The Violin Sonata, written just after WW II, is the most accessible and melodic and has the most emotional variety. A classically structured piece, it offers lucid ideas and a Hindemithian ambiance but is very much its own piece. Roderick Chadwick is the elegant pianist. The Solo Violin Sonata, full of acrobatic virtuosity, has allusions to Italian myth. The excellent soloist, Peter Sheppard Skaerved (who has recorded other Henze works for Naxos), says in the informative notes that he plays the “rougher, more violent version of the work”, which sounds right given the grittiness of this performance. He collaborated with Henze, so these performances have a special authenticity.

This well-filled CD also offers an ambitious Viola Sonata, two memorials for lost colleagues, and an austere, concise Violin Sonatina drawn from Henze’s children’s opera, Pollicino, projected with wry understatement. Henze’s admirers will want this. © 2019 American Record Guide

Carlos María Solare
The Strad, October 2018

He [Sheppard Skærved] and Chadwick play throughout with an authority that bears witness to their long acquaintance with Henze’s melodious muse. © 2018 The Strad Read complete review

Bob Neill
Positive Feedback Online, October 2018

Henze is not likely to draw you in on first hearing, so give him time and space to persuade you of his worth, which I promise you is there. © 2018 Positive Feedback Online Read complete review

Richard Hanlon
MusicWeb International, September 2018

The disc is completed by two brief works for solo violin which Henze wrote as memorials for artistic collaborators and associates. Für Manfred from 1989 marks the passing of writer and television director Manfred Gräter. This delicately-spun, deeply thought yet complex miniature ends with an allusion to Berg’s famous quotation of the Bach chorale Es ist genug in his Violin Concerto.

Ultimately, the playing and production on this disc are outstanding. © 2018 MusicWeb International

Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, September 2018

Skærved worked with Henze on the latter’s Solo Violin Sonata, including the revised version in his 1999 recording of Henze’s unaccompanied works. Here, however, he reverts to the 1977 original, “rough, more violent” version of the work, which he admits to preferring.

Two short unaccompanied pieces for solo violin, both written as memorials to friends, complete the disc: Für Manfred (1989) and Peter Doll zum Abschied (1999). © 2018 The WholeNote Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, July 2018

Perhaps the most interesting of the four is the “Violin Sonata” of 1946, mostly because it is unexpected if you do not know his early period well. Henze was subjected to the angst and poverty of the German post-WWII period yet was in the middle of study under the tutelage of Wolfgang Fortner at the time he wrote the sonata. The work has an expressive Modern feel that is decidedly pre-Serialist and so shows a bit more direct a melodic clout. It is memorable for that. © 2018 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Lewis J. Whittington, July 2018

There is an atmosphere of improvisation, and sense of urgent expressive musical dialogue between Skærved and Chadwick: shifting counterpoint, agitated piano lines, and fiery, urgent violin responses. The sense of restlessness continues. Throughout, Chadwick’s chromatic phrasing captivates and Skærved’s technical artistry commands. © 2018 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2018

There was a time when the name Hans Werner Henze in a concert programme would ensure empty seats, though few knew the full extent of his large catalogue of works. Start this new release at track seven and you have a Violin Sonata from 1946 that stylistically lived in the readily approachable works of Stravinsky, its often busy mood at times taking us close by smoochy jazz, the solo violin often decorating the main thrust of the work that is with the piano. In three movements, with a brief Intermezzo, the Nocturne is beautiful and the finale highly energized. Then move to the 1970’s and you find a very different Henze with his own version of atonality, three pictures of characters, as if in a play, shaping the Solo Violin Sonata. It is a technically demanding score, particularly in the finale where the left hand flies around the fingerboard. Yet two years later in the Violin Sonatina we go back to the mode of the Violin Sonata, with the piano once again having the interesting material. So be surprised to find from the same year the Viola Sonata taking you deep into atonality throughout its several sections in one uninterrupted movement. Two short pieces for unaccompanied violin were written in memory of friends and are full of grief. Peter Sheppard Skaerved is a dedicated champion of Henze, and in Roderick Chadwick he has an excellent pianist. Well balanced sound. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

Records International, June 2018

Composed in difficult conditions just after WWII, the Violin Sonata covers the broadest range of human emotions, and is in some ways a study for the extraordinary First Violin Concerto. Steeped in Italian mythology, the Solo Violin Sonata is ‘a real piece of theatre,’ as is the emotionally shattering Viola Sonata, written straight after the completion of the ballet Orpheus. The Violin Sonatina is drawn from Henze’s children’s opera Pollicino, and the two remaining miniatures are memorials for lost colleagues. © 2018 Records International

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