The gallant Renate Eggebrecht continues her exploration of the
solo violin repertoire. I’ve already reviewed volume
two in this series. It’s a little unfortunate that she comes
into competition with Hagai Shahan in the Bloch Suites (see review)
because her more corrosive tone is little real match for his potent
expressive arsenal. As ever she takes brisk tempi in the solo
repertoire, and with a chilly-ish recorded sound the works emerge
as brisk, businesslike and unyielding.
approach to Khachaturian’s 1975 Sonata-monologue is remarkably
brusque. Victor Pikaizen, one of this work’s greatest exponents,
took sixteen minutes over it (see review
of this five CD set) and whilst others have certainly been
quicker, Eggebrecht puts it to the sword, driving through
in twelve. Fast tempi don’t concern me in context, in fact
I generally approve of them, but this slashing approach is
rather cosmopolitan and ignores the folkloric and ethnic strains
embedded in the writing.
has recorded Bacewicz before – there’s an example in the previous
volume alluded to above – and as before she takes a tensile
and tough approach, this time to the 1968 Caprices. Some might
like the somewhat acidic tonal reserves she employs whilst
others will not much be taken by the uncompromising astringency
of her sound – it’s broadly a Kremer like approach in that
sense. Disinclined though she is to make a beautiful sound,
she does bring a taut, biting, grating realism to the Caprices
and makes something of the almost pointillist abstractions,
in particular, of the second caprice.
are two other pieces here. Stravinsky’s Elégie is often heard
in its original version for viola – it was written in memoriam
for Alphonse Onnou, first violin of the Pro Arte Quartet –
but works well for violin. Whereas Schnittke’s a Paganini
(modishly lower case and no accent) offers a stern test of
cadential drama and torrid bowing.
again one admires Eggebrecht’s clear-eyed gaze in the solo
violin repertoire. The programme is artfully constructed and
offers strong contrasts, taking in influences ranging from
Bach to the village band. The playing is highly individualistic
and here, rather too often, terse.