The Duos for Violin and Viola by Mozart have long been favourite pieces of ours – pieces we’d take out and play when there wasn’t a keyboard player or cellist to hand, or busk as teenagers to earn extra pocket money. Back then, the audience’s response clearly indicated how appealing these pieces were as our takings always doubled when we played them!These works never cease to amaze – Mozart uses the two instruments so effectively and with such exquisite craftsmanship that he never leaves one wondering where the rest of the string quartet might have gone….They are also hugely engaging to play and so endlesslyrich and interesting that the appeal to the listener is guaranteed. Mozart’s reference to other genres is always fascinating. In this case the writing is dramatic, operatic even (the violin taking the role as soprano diva (!) and the viola as the heroic tenor?!). One could perhaps go as far to say that these duos are distillations of the art of chamber music as in the Haydn quartets, but more naturally recreational and less self-conscious.For a violist they are about as exposed as you can be; hitherto very few sonatas or concerti had been written for solo viola – and the accompaniment would seldom have been as scant as a single violin. The conversational and imitative nature of the writing allows for freedom andcharacterization, and it was refreshing and rewarding to be as spontaneous as possible in the recording sessions. It was also a diverting and enjoyable experience to record two of the Michael Haydn duos, previously unknown to us both. The character of these pieces is often reminiscentof Austrian folkmusic and it really seems as if you can hear the yodelling vernacular bouncing off the mountains in timely echoes. The challenges in these works are quite different to those of his friend Wolfgang – the demands placed on the violinist are obvious as the writing is busy,yet in need of a casual fluidity, whereas the violist has the task of being constantly inventive with material which is largely accompanimental (melody and bass, in effect). Who knows?Maybe Wolfgang and Michael tried these out during Mozart’s visit to Salzburg when he helped his friend complete a set of six Sonatas in 1783.Rachel & JaneDuos for Violin and Viola
Total time: 01:11:58
|Original Recording Format|
van den Hul
Grimm A/D DSD / Meitner DA
B&W 803 diamond series
Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Rens Heijnis custom design
Daan van Aalst
London England 2011
Pyramix bij Merging
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||October 10, 2015|
The historically informed players players achieve a perfect balance with crisp articulation, robust energy and gorgeous lyricism.(…)
Podger laat haar viool zodanig zingen dat je wordt getroffen door de welhaast operateske, dramatische zangerigheid die Mozart de viool in duoverband toevertrouwt. (…) verbluffend hoeveel diepte, reliëf en expressie Mozart met twee strijkers weet te realiseren. (…)
SA-CD.net, 5 stars
Rachel Podger and Jane Rogers give wonderfully polished performances of all the music on this disc. Their perfect intonation, crisp articulation and cultured phrasing is sheer delight. (…)The recording, made in All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, is skilfully balanced allowing the rich sound of Rachel’s Pesarinius 1739 violin and Jane’s more recent Jan Pawlikowski (Guarnerius model) to blend seamlessly. (…) This is a most desirable disc that can be confidently recommended to all lovers of exquisitely crafted, if less familiar, chamber music.
Podger and Rogers, experts in bringing life to period style, lend these recreational works the flair they deserve.
Michael Haydn, Joseph’s younger brother, was Mozart’s colleague at the archiepiscopal court of Salzburg. Their names are eternally linked through Mozart’s “missing” 37th Symphony — a work by the younger Haydn for which Mozart wrote a slow introduction — and these violin/viola sonatas, written to a commission from Archbishop Colloredo. Haydn was struggling to complete a set of six, so Mozart, on a return visit, helped him out, producing the only masterpieces, K423, in G, and K424, in B flat, for this combination. Wisely, Podger and Rogers have recorded only two of Haydn’s four agreeable contributions to the set: they pale besides the Mozart duos, which, in these lush-sounding performances, seem like studies for the great set of quartets dedicated to Michael’s older sibling.
MusicWeb – International
The music may be small scale but it is all – both the Mozart and that of his friend Michael Haydn, brother of Joseph – highly enjoyable. Rachel Podger’s name alone is enough to guarantee excellence of performance and she is very ably partnered by Jane Rogers. With excellent recording – I chose the 24/96 version – and a helpful pdf booklet, this is a very refreshing alternative to larger-scale Mozart.
Playing in ‘period’ style, but with resonant zest and spontaneity, Rachel Podger and Jane Rogers achieve a beautiful balance.
BBC Music Magazine
International Record Review
Their partnership is magically symbiotic, affording spirited, entrancing performances calculated to revive and enliven any jaded ear. (…) astonishing is the equanimity and near-perfect tonal balance between the two instrumental voices (…) beautifully cultivated and insightful performances, captured miraculously by a spacious yet entirely natural recording. Booklet notes and visual presentation, too, are first-rate (…)
These are splendid works. The combination of violin and viola is a remarkably sonorous one, and Michael Haydn’s two duos are masterpieces no less accomplished than Mozart’s. (…)The team of Podger and Rogers is very well matched in terms of timbre, phrasing, and interplay between melody and accompaniment. They communicate the joy of the allegros vividly and with great spirit. (…)
Podger l‘aborde avec l’expérience d’une intégrale des sonates qui marqué les esprits. C’est peut dire qu’elle fait chanter cette musique! Jane Rogers relève le défit: elle sait soutenit. Relancer, prendre l’initiative pour satisfaire à la parité des solistes. (…)
Diese SACD ist ein wahrer Ohrenschmaus. Rachel Podger und Jane Rogers übertreffen sich hier in ihrem Können, so dass man im Wohlklang ihrer herrlichen Instrumente baden kann. Die beiden Instrumentalistinnen bilden ein ideales Duo für die Musik von Mozart und Haydn, da ihr sensibles Spiel die feinen Nuancen der Kompositionen liebevoll zum Klingen bringt und den melodischen Reichtum der Kompositionen voll auskostet. (…) hoch professionellen Aufnahmetechnik von Channel Classic (…) Man meint die beiden Solistinnen stünden im Wohnzimmer. (…) Die beiden Musikerinnen verstehen sich in ihrem Spiel offensichtlich blind. Jede Phrase ist gemeinsam ausmusiziert, ihre Instrumente singen im Gleichklang. Selten hört man so wunderbare Musik mit so viel Herzblut und Geschmack gespielt. Man merkt bei jeder Note, dass diese beiden Musikerinnen auf jahrelange Erfahrung in sogenannten Originalklang-Ensembles zurückblicken können und Meisterinnen ihres Fachs sind.
the sound of these two string instruments is nothing short of sensational. (…) the result is simply breath-taking. (…) Great compositions by extremely gifted composers given exceptional playing by superlative soloists all wonderfully recorded make this another must own SACD.
Rachel Podger and Jane Rogers escort Mozart at his most unbuttoned into the realm of simple mortals with their spontaneous, definitely interactive performances of Mozart’s two sublime Duos for Violin and Viola. (…) In their hands, the dialogue between the two parts ranks equally with the dialogue between the two musical lines. (…) it becomes apparent that the subjective interaction between the two is authentically from the heart, the experience moves into a welcome realm in which Mozart himself is humanized.
TOM [tijdschrift oudemuziek]
Rachel Podger en Jane Rogers spelen de twee Mozarts en Haydns met een prachtige toonvorming en rijke expressie. (…)
) Great compositions by extremely gifted composers given exceptional playing by superlative soloists all wonderfully recorded make this another must own SACD. (…)
al luisterend raak je in de ban van de puurheid, de ongecompliceerdheid, de eenvoud in vergelijking met welke andere grotere bezetting dan ook. (…) De twee violen meanderen lustig door elkaar, zuiver, gaaf, levendig (…) een cd van het kleine genieten, een exquise verzameling voorgerechtjes voor de fijnproever.
Rachel Podger and her violist companion Jane Rogers make a natural pair (…) The top-notch musicianship is matched by a pellucid recording from Channel Classics.
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