Portrait of the Viola

Track Lising

1. Clarke: Viola Sonata: Impetuoso
2. Clarke: Viola Sonata: Vivace
3. Clarke: Viola Sonata: Adagio-allegro
4. Clarke: Morpheus
5. Clarke: Lullaby
6. Clarke: Lullaby
7. Swain: English Reel
8. Clarke: I’ll Bid My Heart Still
9. Harrison: Viola Sonata: Moderato
10. Harrison: Viola Sonata: Vivace leggiero
11. Harrison: Viola Sonata: Andante affectuoso
12. Harrison: Viola Sonata: Presto
13. Gould: Oh Can Ye Sew Cushions


“This superbly stylish recording [shows Helen Callus with] secure technique and a lustrous tone production. her partnership with McDonald is an unbridled success. There’s always flexibility and poetry in abundance, yet concentration never falters; sample the tingling tension which these artists bring to [this recording]. [No previous recording] surpassed this newcomer in terms or sweep or communicative ardour. The sound is vivid and true….a hearty recommendation overall.” –Gramophone Magazine

“Helen Callus is a violist of the highest caliber. Among Clarke’s shorter works Morpheus stands out……beautifully interpreted by Callus. McDonald plays impeccably while Callus’ viola sings and lulls with somnolent abandon.” –Strings Magazine

“In Helen Callus these composers have found an ideal advocate; herself an alumna of the Royal Academy of Music, she shows a complete empathy with their respective idioms. She has all the fire needed for the more extrovert parts of the Clarke Sonata while never losing a certain reserve that is  (or used to be) thought to be considered typically English. her partnership with McDonald is finely honed, with unanimous phrasing and perfect balance.” –Strad Magazine

“Helen Callus now gives a startlingly vivid and compelling account….with an energetic and impassioned reading….the dashing scherzo [of the Clarke Sonata] proving the mettle of her partnership with McDonald.” –BBC Music Magazine

“Helen Callus is a fine violist with a rich, mellow tone and she and Robert McDonald have excellent timing. A fascinating recording, which will reward your curiosity.” –The American Record Guide

“This is a remarkable anthology of music for viola by British women composers. A fascinating recording which will reward your curiosity. bright energetic performances from Helen Callus and Robert McDonald.” -Fanfare Magazine

“Helen Callus delivers Rebecca Clarke’s viola sonata with authority and impressive technical command. Throughout the opening she plays with greater abandon and expressive license [than on other recordings]. The scherzo Vivace is very fast indeed but Callus retains full technical control. Callus and her pianist Robert McDonald are entirely convincing [in some of the most awkward sections of the work] and McDonald is superb. It is difficult to imagine any better case being made for the unfamiliar but attractive work by Pamela Harrison.” –Classics Today