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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


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Infinite Heartbeat
Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957)

Garden Scene from Much Ado About Nothing
Lili BOULANGER (1893-1918)

Nocturne
John CORIGLIANO (b 1938)

Andantino from Violin Sonata
Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992)

Milonga sin palabras
Le Grand Tango
Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946)

Polo Asturiana and Jota from Suite Populaire Espagnole
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)

Vocalise Op 34/14
TRADITIONAL

Drink to me only with thine eyes arr Roger QUILTER
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)

Intermezzo from Violin Sonata
Stacy GARROP (b 1970)

Lotsachotomy from Neurotichotomy
Matthew HINDSON (b 1968)

Little Chrissietina’a Magic Fantasy
Stuart GREENBAUM (b 1966)

The Infinite Heart from Violin Sonata
Gordon KERRY (b 1961)

Dream
Miki Tsunoda (violin)
Caroline Almonte (piano)
Recorded Iwaki Auditorium of the ABC Southbank Centre, Melbourne 2001-2003
ABC 476 097-2 [63.16]


Wide-ranging and somewhat exploratory this is a disc that lives up to its annotator’s claim that it’s a twentieth century travelogue. Of course the corollary is you never stay in one place very long and the same is true of the sonatas that the duo espouse, which are represented by isolated movements (Poulenc, Corigliano, Greenbaum and Garrop). So what might seem a tantalising prospect in the brochure, the equivalent of a three-week holiday in the South Seas, turns out to be the equivalent of island hopping. Another day, another nationality.

Which is not to find fault with the performers or their ambition. But the programme is very bitty and I think their enthusiasms would have been better served – and their commitment to the repertoire better supported – by a more focused anthology than we have here. Korngold’s Garden Scene from Much Ado About Nothing has always had its stellar adherents but Gil Shaham has led the field on disc; I like Tsunoda’s rather husky tone but one shift seems to cause her a mite of difficulty, even though she catches well the pensive moments as well as the gloriously convulsive ones. Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne shows that she learned as much from Debussy as she did from Fauré. I’m afraid, though, that we have another duo that feels the need to give us some Piazzolla; I like Milonga sin palabras, it’s lyrical and passionate but Le Grand Tango gives fatuousness a bad name. Tsunoda’s Jota (they only play three of the Suite Populaire Espagnole) is not over bowed, and not abrasive but her rubati in Rachmaninov’s Vocalise are a little precious. She strays into Marjorie Hayward territory in the geographical visit to Blighty, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, in the arrangement by Roger Quilter but this is very light fare indeed when judged against Poulenc’s desperate Sonata and Corigliano’s clear eyed rhythmic drive in his. Then there are the younger composers. Garrop’s isolated movement is a scurrying moto perpetuo type affair with tone row emphases and a tango let loose on the feast; Hindson drives motorically, abrasive "death metal" influences (man, I’m too old for death metal, whatever it is) and Greenbaum gives us stillness, albeit with a certain restless feel to it. I liked Gordon Kerry’s Dream and its evocation of things Eastern. I’d like to hear more of him.

The notes by Anna Goldsworthy are invigorating and full and I liked them. In truth I’ve no idea at whom this disc is aimed but in the spirit of its compilation I hope its appeal will be geographically widespread.

Jonathan Woolf

 

 



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