Gidon Kremer has again recorded the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin of Bach and while his facility and technical grace are intact, in this recording he appears to have been deeply influenced by his time with the moderns (Adams, Pärt, Schnittke, Piazzola, Glass, et al). For this listener it seems that studying and performing these contemporary composers' manipulation of sound and instrumental scope has enriched Kremer's thought about the perfection of Bach. Not everyone will agree with Kremer's approach to these works on this new recording, but for those who know Bach's solo violin pieces there are pleasures in store. Remaining technically suave and with a luxuriant tone, Kremer seems to be communicating with the psychological Bach, offering different tempi and more soulful approaches than those of his colleagues. The results are mesmerizing. Highly recommended.
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi had a tragically short career, living just 26 years, and producing most of his mature works over a period of about five years. This album includes three of the composer's most representative pieces. The most familiar is the 40-minute Stabat mater for soprano, alto, and orchestra, which was the most frequently published composition of the 18th century. This version, featuring soprano Rachel Harnisch and contralto Sara Mingardo, makes a splendid introduction to the work and should be of interest to anyone who loves this poignant music. …
by Stephen Eddins
"Hans Werner Henze has written three violin concertos so far, separated in his output by gaps of 23 and 26 years. As you'd expect, they are very different pieces stylistically, and hearing them in succession provides a revealing map of the trajectory Henze's evolution has followed in his orchestral music. However, it's the two most widely separated works here that have the most similarities, suggesting how, in some important respects over the last half-century, he has come full circle. (…) The result is arguably one of the strongest of Henze's works from the 1970s; certainly that is how it seems in this very impressively controlled performance from Torsten Janicke and the Magdeburg Philharmonic." ~The Guardian
This recording aims to cast a spotlight on some of the remarkable, yet forgotten music written for the solo violin between c.1840 and 1919. The long shadow of JS Bach and his own Partitas and Sonatas for Solo Violin looms over some of the works contained on this disc, yet many of the movements liberate themselves from this influence, displaying a resourcefulness and an array of moods that draw the listener into what can otherwise be the precariously narrow sound world of the solo violin. Many of the pieces have never been recorded before and some, particularly the Second Godard Sonata and Saint-Lubin Fantaisie, deserve to take their place beside Bach, Bartók and Ysaÿe as interesting additions to the central works in the solo violin repertoire.
After her last two albums of completely new compositions, “Silfra” and “In 27 Pieces – The Hilary Hahn Encores”, Hilary returns with classic-romantic repertoire. Two-times Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn now combines Mozart’s beloved Concerto in A, K 219 – with its fiery “Turkish” episode – with the rich, virtuosic romanticism of Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No. 4.
Respighi’s orchestral music is loved for its lavish, operatic ‘fireworks’, its pomp and circumstance. This recording of his music for violin and piano demonstrates a more tender and intimate side to the composer, and also shows what a master he was of melody. Respighi had many influences from all over Europe and an enthusiasm for German music which perhaps explains the pleasing echoes of Brahms and Schumann among others. The sonatas, especially the later in B minor, are important works of nineteenth-century chamber music, and gems such as the Valse caressante and the Serenata are suffused with lyrical elegance which is perfectly carried off by the wonderful violinist Tanja Becker-Bender.
J. S. Bach's second son, C.P.E. Bach, described the six Sonatas for Violin and Cembalo as "among the best compositions of my dear departed father", and went on to say how well they sounded and what pleasure they still gave him, although written some fifty years before. Over 300 years later these pieces still sound fresh and delightful.