This recent release by Dutton Digital features Lorraine McAslan (violin) and Sophia Rahman (piano) performing a selection of Dorothy Howell's chamber music.

The common factors of Howell's writing are lyrical phrases interlocking melodiously with each other.

Her Violin Sonata in F minor opens with the violin singing plaintively, piano moving independently but as an ideal partner.

The 'Andante' begins with the haunting solo violin, alternating with the piano in similar vein; the instruments wander together and a sense of searching pervades. 'Allegro con fuoco' is more aggressive.

In Sonata for piano a lovely second movement 'Tranquillo - non troppo lento' is given an effect of transparency in dropping arpeggio figures. 'Allegro con brio', a much bolder movement, involves those recurring arpeggios again, but with strength in the bass, balanced by a lively treble.

Humoresque for solo piano, is an interesting piece with contrasts of bass activity and high figures of broken chords.

Five Studies for piano are attractive pieces, although aimed at practice in particular areas.

Both musicians join forces in The Moorings, the most beautiful composition here. It is quiet and thoughtful, the violin pensive in its lower registers, and piano offering short rippling phrases.

Lastly, Phantasy, a substantial, lengthy composition, more demanding technically than any other on the disc.

Beautiful, wistful high violin playing, the piano sensitively expressive, creates a unified and thoughtful presence, until a dramatic plunge to the depths pre-empts the close.

Jill Hopkins