| John Woolrich - Viola Concerto|
BBC Philharmonic - Yan Pascal Tortelier
Cheltenham Festival :: July 1995
The Times - Gerald Larner
His new Viola Concerto... was commissioned for Paul Silverthorne and first performed by that excellent violist with Yan Pascal Tortelier and the BBC Philharmonic in Cheltenham Town Hall(.) Here in the unrelieved elegiac tone of the work, the source of the inspiration is unambiguously evident; it scarcely needs the repeated echoes of Beethoven's “Lebewohl” motif (from Les Adieux), let alone the several allusions to other departures form Monteverdi to Wagner, to indicate what kind of sadness is at the heart of it. The consolation is in the quality of the music, in which the viola is so very well cast and which is so skillfully matched to the flexible technique and the colour resources of this particular soloist.
Financial Times - David Murray
For all of its 20 minutes most of us were willingly held by this soft, pungent music, dense with thoughtful feeling but transparently scored; ...Paul Silverthorne... delivered it here with his usual soulful objectivity,
The Independent - Michael White
...the big première in the first days of the Festival was John Woolrich's Viola Concerto... a luminous beauty, indebted to the orientalism of late Tippett, and the characterising of the viola as an instrument of elegiac depression. ...the soloist Paul Silverthorne played with considerable, if ruminative, eloquence.
Gloucestershire Echo - Alfred Lawrence
Paul Silverthorne gave a wonderfully eloquent account of the solo part... For those in tune with its gentle melancholy it was an unforgettable experience.