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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936)
Original Compositions for Violin and Piano

Violin Sonata in D minor P15 (1897) [20.02]
Violin Sonata in B minor P110 (1917) [27.44]
Six Piece for Violin and Piano P31 (1902-05) [22.44]
Ingolf Turban (violin)
Katia Nemirovitch-Dantchenko (piano)
rec 22 May, 30-31 July, 24, 26 Sept 2001, Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart, DDD
CLAVES CD50-2109 [70.34]


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It was not long before Bologna learnt that the student Respighi was a brilliant violinist, violist and pianist. The 1897 Sonata is an early essay by a seventeen year old composer. In this work Brahms and Schumann are undeniable presences. It lacks the rampantly intoxicating atmosphere of early Fauré (Piano Quartet No. 1), Vierne or Cras or the turbulent mastery of John Foulds' Cello Sonata. All the same this is a work confident in the Brahmsian melos and with deft imaginative touches in the Adagio and in the mercurial gentlenesss of the Scherzo - Allegretto (try sampling 1.38 tr. 3).

This disc represents the world premiere of the 1897 sonata and the Six Pieces. The Pieces include a rather urgent and quick-flowing Aria, a hoarsely amber-toned Melodia, a rather dour Serenata, a conventionally cosmopolitan Berceuse oozing commercial sentimentality, a starry and unhurried Valse caressante and a Leggenda. These sketches show more personality than the early Sonata as well as an increasing mastery. I am grateful to note writer Georg-Albrecht Eckle for pointing out that of the six movements four come from works for, or with, orchestra and the other two (Melodia and Valse) are from the Six Pieces for Piano P44, 1904-5. The works are the Aria for strings and organ (1901), Berceuse for strings P36 (1902), Legend for violin and strings P38 and the Serenade from Respighi’s first published opera, Re Enzo P55 (1904).

The 1917 Violin Sonata lacks the modal nature of the Concerto Gregoriano and in the first of the three movements carries a Brahmsian impress in many pages. It is a troubled work (try 3.47 et seq. in tr.10). Its power to move asserts itself unequivocally in the Andante espressivo; extremely impressive. The Passacaglia, despite its melodramatic Beethovenian 'overture' and some schmaltz along the way rises to eloquence at 5.20 onwards (tr. 12). It is no wonder that this work was taken up by Heifetz.

Ingolf Turban has recorded extensively for Claves. His tone is not unduly sleek, sweet and searching rather than opulent. Nemirovitch-Dantchenko nicely complements Turban although she is recorded in a softer focus than her partner. It is not a disagreeable effect but is certainly noticeable.

This disc, strong on detailing and performance and intelligent in choice of repertoire is self-recommending to Respighians. This is a composer still deeply and pleasurably entangled with the Brahmsian legacy. Only in the 1917 work does he give signs of setting out into new regions.


Rob Barnett


AVAILABILITY

www.claves.ch
Discovery Records
phone UK 01380 72800
fax UK 01380 722244
info@discovery-records.com


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