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Georgy L'vovich CATOIRE (1861-1926)
Violin Sonata No. 1 in B minor op. 15 (1900) [28:43]
Violin Sonata No. 2 in D major Poème op. 20 (1906) [20:50]
Elegy for violin and piano (1916) [4:13]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)

Pièce en forme de habañera (1907) [3:10]
Tzigane - rapsodie de concert (1924) [10:31]
Herwig Zack (violin)
Bernd Zack (piano)
rec. 2007, Munich.
co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk
AVIE AV2143 [67:49]

Experience Classicsonline

Herwig Zack provides engaging liner-notes for this complete collection of Catoire's music for violin and piano. In doing so he describes the genesis of this project when a friend presented him with a CD of David Oistrakh and Alexander Goldenweiser playing works by Catoire: 'beautiful, genuine music'!

The Second Sonata was dedicated to Goldenweiser. It is a single rhapsodic movement in the spontaneously flowing style of Medtner, dramatic, fantastic, poetic in a free-flowing Russian way. If you like Medtner and early Scriabin you will love this - ending as it does in a serene art nouveau sunset. The Elegy is another gentle curvaceous effusion fading into a glistening silence. The three movement First Sonata is more torrid and emotionally turbulent than the Second. It is dedicated to Medtner. After a near-14 minute first movement comes a Barcarolle whose melodic content recalled Medtner's Sonata Romantica. The finale bursts with invention of elevated romantic standing.

The whole experience of this disc will have you wanting to track down yet more Catoire. As yet unrecorded - but surely strong prospects - are the quintet, the symphony op. 7 and a piano concerto. His activities as a teacher academician - he had Kabalevsky as a pupil - have masked his reputation as composer.

Herwig Zack is a remarkable violinist whose tone is steady, whose virtuoso apparatus is balanced with the warmest artistry and whose willingness to explore is admirable. He is another Milstein in the making. Bravo to Avie and BR for having an eye for these artists' rare qualities. These can also be heard to good effect in the Ravel pieces - especially the many-faceted Tzigane.

These recordings have been most beautifully captured by Avie.

Rob Barnett




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