Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Chamber Works: Volume 16
Sonata for Violin and Piano in F Op.57 (B.106)
Romantic pieces for Violin and Piano Op.75 (B.150)
Sonatina for Violin and Piano in G Op.100 (B.183)
Nocturne for Violin and Piano in B Op.40 (B.48)
Ballad for Violin and Piano in D minor Op.15/1 (B.139)
Josef Suk (violin)
Josef Hála (piano)
Recorded at the Martinů Hall of the Lichtenstein Palace, Prague on 22/23 April 1995
SUPRAPHON 11 1466-2131 [69. 39]
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Like so much of Dvořák’s output, this is all tunefully appealing music. More renowned for the cello concerto than his violin concerto (and this is a pity because the latter is an utterly charming composition) he also wrote a handful of works for violin and piano, of which the Romantic pieces for Violin and Piano Op.75 is a reworking of a Terzetto (1887) for two violins and viola, the first violin part remaining in its original form whilst the other two string parts were transformed into a piano part. The Sonata (1880) is a classic three movement (quick-slow-quick) work, rather intimate and lyrical as well as rising to passionate heights in the slow movement, whilst the more popular and deceptively simple Sonatina (a grander four-movement construction) covers a variety of moods. Dvořák’s finales are always sparkling affairs with catchy tunes and, if he is in his folksy mood, snappy rhythms. The Sonatina was composed in New York in 1893 and its second movement appeared separately in various guises and under such names as Indian Elegy or Indian Lullaby. The two single movement works (Nocturne and Ballad) had complicated histories with earlier existences, either as part of a slow movement of a quartet or as the sketch for the slow movement of the 7th Symphony respectively.

In the hands of the masterly playing of Josef Suk, who is Dvořák’s great-grandson, the sheer warmth of tone and energetically rhythmic vitality he brings to his playing, gives the music its authentic style (the finest track being the second of the Romantic Pieces). The sound is full-blooded and the partnership with Hala electrifying (he was for years a member of the famed Suk Piano Trio). This is a fine disc, beautifully recorded and an enduring record of a generation which (both men being in their 70s now) will regrettably soon disappear. They don’t make them like that any more.

Christopher Fifield

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