At the turn of the 19th to the 20th century the violin sonata experienced a considerable renaissance. A fundamentally conservative genre, it suddenly sparkled with vitality. Mozart developed its classical formula: violin and piano are two equal partners in dialogue with neither the piano being reduced to a mere accompanist nor the violin being reduced to mere colouring of the melody voice; a three-movement-pattern; the first movement being based on the so called sonata form with two themes of clearcut atmospheric contrast and their developement.
Total time: 01:07:10
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Bert van der Wolf
Bert van der Wolf
Galaxy Studios, Moll, Belgium
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|Release Date||July 22, 2016|
The Violin Sonata around 1900” is the subtitle of Challenge Classics’ release but this is both stylistically and chronologically misleading. The dates of the Strauss (1887) and Respighi (1917) stretch the concept already to breaking-point but that of Nino Rota’s beautifully crafted little work – 1936-37 – snaps it remorselessly. The Rota, placed second on the disc, is more a sonatina given the company but its 14 lyrical minutes make for the finest contrast imaginable between the two weightier items.
The Respighi is rather better known than the Rota and almost twice its size, yet shares the same sense of enjoyment in melody in an intimate setting. Unlike Rota, though, Respighi shows off his structural muscle in a work – written just after Pini di Roma – that is both true sonata as well as lyrical dialogue. Van Keulen and Brautigam are at their finest here (the Rota not really taxing them), shaping the themes equally adroitly as sonata elements as well as tunes to be relished for their own sake.
Generally excellent sound as well as the imaginative programming makes this a fine addition to the catalogue.
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