Recordings of Lennox Berkeley's music

Three Pieces for Solo Viola album cover
Format: Digital download
Label: Naxos
Release date: March 2010

Berkeley Viola Discovery

Play (by clicking Play icon at the foot of this page) or download (by clicking Download icon) a Naxos recording of three recently-discovered pieces for unaccompanied viola by Lennox Berkeley.

The music was found in a second-hand bookshop in Camden Town in 2004 by Patrick Wogan. The autograph manuscript bears the inscription To Stephan Deák with all good wishes Lennox Berkeley. Deák was a Hungarian viola player who survived the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, and, after a spell in South Africa, came to Britain and joined the Philharmonia Orchestra. It's likely that the fingering and bowing instructions on the manuscript are his, but there is no indication that he ever actually played the pieces in public. Patrick Wogan gave the manuscript to the viola player Elizabeth Watson, when she retired from the staff of City Lit, and she kindly allowed Morgan Goff, viola player with the Kreutzer Quartet, to give what was probably the world premiere of the three pieces at the West Norfolk Music Festival in September 2009. With the pianist Raphael Terroni, a founder member of the Lennox Berkeley Society, Goff also played Berkeley's Viola Sonata, which the two had recently recorded for Naxos on a CD (8.572288) sponsored by the Lennox Berkeley Society, of Berkeley Chamber Music; this will be on sale from 29 March at www.naxos.com. Of the three 'new' pieces, the first and last are headed simply, Moderato and Allegro, respectively; the middle one is given no tempo marking. Morgan Goff plays them on a Daniel Parker viola made in London in 1715. The recording was made available to the Society by Naxos Records.

Notes by Tony Scotland, with acknowledgements to Raphael Terroni

Performed by Morgan Goff (viola)