MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Buy through MusicWeb for£13.50 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button


Violin Solo 3: Renate Eggebrecht
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Studies for violin solo (1916)* [10:36]
Sonata op.11, N°.6 in g-minor (1917-18) [
Movement and Fragment of a solo violin sonata (1925)* [
Sonata op.31 N°.1 (1924) [
Sonata op.31 N°.2 (1924) [
Anatol VIERU (1926-1998)
Capriccio (1997)* [4:11]
Vladimir MARTYNOV (b.1946)
Partita (1976)* [26:54]
* World Premiere Recording
Renate Eggebrecht (violin)
rec. November 2006, February, March 2007, Tonstudio Teije van Geest, Heidelberg-Sandhausen, Clara Wieck Auditorium

Experience Classicsonline

Renate Eggebrecht has been busy preparing and recording 20th century solo violin music for a few years now, and this is volume 3 of a mounting catalogue of remarkable and often neglected works by often quite well known composers. This disc concentrates all of Paul Hindemith’s work for solo violin on one disc, including four world premiere recordings and leaving enough space for some substantial works by composers of which I had not heard.

The opening of Hindemith’s early Allegretto study is reproduced on the inside of the jewel case liner for this disc, and virtually unplayable it looks as well. The music is a kind of manic waltz, with about every kind of double-stop imaginable. This is followed by an unfinished fragment which lasts less than 30 seconds, but both items show the composer exploring the extremes of the violin while a student at the Frankfurt Conservatory. 

The Sonata Op.11 no.6 was only discovered in its complete form in 2002. The musical language of this piece shows the young composer still working more with the technical aspects of the instrument rather than achieving much in the way of a personal style, though Hindemith’s virtuosity and inventive precociousness is clearly apparent. There is a good deal of wandering around in the second movement Siciliano, and as with the Studien the double stopping and range is a killer. Eggebrecht’s intonation fights a little to keep everything together at times, and is stretched further in a lively Finale. 

The Sonata fragments which follow are from some time in the first half of the 1920s, and are certainly more distinctive in terms of an already remarkable personal language. The manic wide vibrato or glissandi of the Presto are quite something, and the melodic shapes of the following fragment make one wonder why the piece was abandoned. 

Hindemith’s own instrument was of course the viola, and the Op. 31 sonatas were written for his violinist quartet colleagues rather than for his own use. The finish and sense of commitment in these pieces is a little in question, at least two of the movements in the first of the pair and the Sonata No.2 having been jotted down during a train journey, but this also serves to illustrate Hindemith’s swift imagination and flexibility. Both sonatas employ lyrical song forms, the final movement of the second sonata even quoting a Mozart song. The first sonata extends asymmetrical melodic patterns to the extent that structure appears distorted in even quite compact movement durations, but the Hindemith fingerprint intervals and gestures are more often present. The Sonata No.2 is less intense, having a sunnier, more pastoral feel than the first from the start. This is also reflected in the title of the first movement "...Es ist so schönes Wetter draußen" ("... it's such beautiful weather outside"). The final variations on Mozart’s “Komm, lieber Mai” come as quite a surprise, and as a point of programming lead nicely into the next piece. 

Anatol Vieru came from the Romanian province of Moldovia, and studied with Aram Khachaturian in Moscow. Using folk music as a base, his avant-gardism is recognised as having a quietly subversive character, and this is also a characteristic of the brief Capriccio. There are a number of techniques listed in the booklet notes, but the end result is that it sounds like more than one violinist at work at several points in the piece, left-hand pizzicato playing an interesting role. The Capriccio is a compact and satisfying work with its own substance and life, though I’m sure it would work well as a surprise encore. 

Vladimir Martynov is another unfamiliar name to me, and his Partita of 1976 is unlike any of the other pieces on the disc. Kerstin Holm describes it as “raw, Russian Minimal Music with arte-povera appeal” in the booklet notes, and this sums up the general impression very well. The actual musical material is quite folk-like and basic, but with repetition of a basic phrase with variations each movement and the piece as a whole has quite a hypnotic quality. The opening of the third movement is almost a direct quote – at least in terms of gesture – of Terry Riley’s ‘In C’. It would be interesting to take this kind of material and extend it with some of Steve Reich’s phasing techniques, or explore the canonic effects of layering the music, but as it stands this piece is great fun. Either that or it will drive you up the wall and back down again, but I happened to quite like it. Martynov argues that anyone still composing music in the conventional sense in these days of computer DJ-ing is ‘nothing but a clown.’ His loss: I can see the point but, having done both, would say live and let live. 

The SACD sound quality on this disc is very good indeed, making a sonic feast of what threatens to be something of a strain on the brain and ears. The resonance seemed to sound quite different on different systems, and at times I was tempted to thin everything back to stereo for clarity’s sake, but the violin tone and presence is always very fine indeed. Where I do have a few problems is in Renate Eggebrecht’s technical abilities in the worst excesses of the Hindemith. I’m more inclined to blame the composer for expecting purity of music to come out of such a minefield of double-stopping and extreme intervals, but either way it doesn’t seem to have been much ‘fun’ to record some of these pieces, and this is also the impression left on the listener. The fascination of hearing such rare and unusual repertoire outweighs these considerations however, and those fascinated by Hindemith’s admittedly finer solo viola sonatas should also be encouraged to explore his violin repertoire – if only to find out how he seemed to seek revenge on his violinist colleagues in the early years! 

Dominy Clements 


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.