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Joseph Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839-1901)
Six Pieces for Violin and Organ Op.150
Suite for Violin and Organ Op.166
Line Most (violin)
Marie Ziener (organ)
Recorded in David’s Church, Copenhagen, June 2000
NAXOS 8.557383 [59.55]


There’s some overlap between Naxos and Capriccio when it comes to the attractive Op.166 Suite. This is a largely nostalgic and very romantic piece and the two teams take an almost identical view when it comes to tempi and timings. But the Capriccio pairing of Ernö Sebestyen and organist Andreas Juffinger is rather heavier and more Schumann-Brahmsian in inclination whilst the Naxos duo are generally lighter, wristier and tend to project the Suite’s more Mendelssohnian charms. There are advantages in both approaches; the Naxos’s organ registrations are more delicate and Line Most tends to inflect the violin line with more light and shade than does Sebestyen. I think it’s fair to say that the Naxos duo cleaves to the more feminine sound and Capriccio’s to the more masculine and heavily vibrated and richly pointed. At the same tempo, however, it does show how two relatively divergent approaches can be shown to work hand in glove with the music and not sound imposed on it.

The Six Pieces for Violin and Organ are studies in up to date nostalgia, in that they fuse elements of baroque procedure and melody with more romantic characteristics. That said, listening blind, you’d swear that Tartini and Handel were mischievously at work in the Overture, complete with some fluttering passages for organ and the gently indulged fugal section. The Pastorale is delightfully light and sprung with the organ tending to simply a supportive spongy base. The ethos is broadly Handel meets Schumann and the latter predominates in the Abendlied albeit with a touch of Schubert. This is all undemanding and attractive, and recorded sympathetically: the Most-Ziener duo plays with finesse and elegance – and not too much sauce.

Jonathan Woolf


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