Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Works for Violin and Piano. Sonata in A, D574. Rondo brillant in B minor, D895. Fantasie in C. D934.
Pamela Frank (violin); Claude Frank (piano).
Arte Nova 74321 72128-2 [DDD] [63'33]

Pamela Frank confirms her high standing amongst today's violin soloists with this stylish and considered disc, in which she is more than ably accompanied by her father, Claude Frank. Both are ardent advocates of this repertoire: Arte Nova's disc is eminently recommendable for their clear rapport.

The Sonata, D574 is in a most relaxed A major, and both players succeed in the difficult feat of bringing a feeling of spontaneity into the recording studio. Claude Frank is particularly impressive in his pearly articulation and his lightening reactions to the violinist's twists and turns.

Pamela Frank's playing is distinguished throughout by a fine ear for tuning and an appreciation of the Schubertian sound world. She is as at home in the playful Scherzo of the A major Sonata as she is in the reposeful Andante molto of the C major Fantasie, D934. It is this Fantasie provides the meat of this recital. Both pianist and violinist fully relish the third movement, a set of variations on the song, Sei mir gegrüsst, in which both father and daughter have ample opportunity to show off their sparkling scales and glittering articulation.

Pamela Frank brings an apposite Viennese air to the B minor Rondo brillant, D895 of 1826, which acts as much more that an interlude between the Sonata and Fantasie. There is an honesty to her playing which is most affecting and refreshing, and this disc acts as an excellent complement to Gidon Kremer's 1991 accounts of the Sonata and the Fantasie at mid-price on DG Masters 453 665-2. If Pamela Frank's playing appeals from this showing, her account of Mozart Violin Concertos with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra under David Zinman on Arte Nova 74321 72104-2 should be your next port of call.

Cordially welcomed, if not a first recommendation.


Colin Clarke



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