Lennox Berkeley wrote his Elegy and Toccata for violin and piano in 1950. Although they were originally published separately, the two pieces complement each other quite beautifully and thus form a logical pairing. The two pieces are also linked by the violinist, Frederick Grinke, - the dedicatee in both cases – for whom Berkeley has life-long regard and for whom he write his Five Pieces for violin and orchestra in 1961.
The listener will not be disappointed if he expects the characteristics of style usually associated with the titles Elegy and Toccata. Always present, however, whether in the lyricism of the Elegy or the energy of the Toccata, is the very special voice of Berkeley. The bitter-sweet harmony – so often resulting from major-minor chords – and the sudden surprising chromatic slips are totally individual.
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