Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Tanti Anni Prima [4:34]
Lera AUERBACH (b.1973) Postlude [2:42]
Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Adagio [7:05]
Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Elegy [6:42]
Fernando EGOZCUE (b.1959) Agua y Vino [4:13]
Marjan MOZETICH (b.1948) Desire at Twlight [11:30]
Jorge GRUNDMAN (b.1961) Violin Sonata What inspires poetry. (I. About loneliness and nostalgia [8:29]; II. About calm and serenity [3:26]; III. About rain and storm [4:41])
Elena KATS-CHERNIN (b.1957) Russian Rag [3:06]
Ara Malikian (violin); Daniel del Pino (piano)
rec. no details given. SACD hybrid
The last time I heard from Ara Malikian and the Non Profit Music label I was pleased to welcome the results. It's the same reception here. The disc is housed in a well set-up book-style volume in a pocket at the back after 36 pages of context. The music is recorded closely but the results are not boxy or claustrophobic though they do have the warmth of a three bar electric fire. The Piazzolla Tanti Anni Prima is rather nostalgic and sentimental in the manner of Rota. No sign of tango here. Lera Auerbach was born in Chelyabinsk in the then USSR. Her Postlude is a short and starrily nostalgic piece written in memory of her friend Saul Barnett in 1999. We know the Finzi Elegy from other recordings but here Malikian's piercing passionate violin tone and vibrato lends it a passion we may not always have associated with the piece or the composer. It recalls at times the violin solo in Introit and the Severn Rhapsody. I have been listening to a lot of Kodály recently and by sheer chance the composer's Adagio turns up in this anthology. It is from March 1905 and its peaceful mien links it with another early work: Summer Evening for orchestra. Fernando Egozcue's name was new to me. He was born in Buenos Aires in 1959. His Agua y Vino is akin to the Piazzolla Tanti Anni Prima though there is more passion here than in the Piazzolla. I recalled Mozetich from a Chandos orchestral CD I reviewed in 2000. His Desire at Twilight is serene yet the piano’s motivic material adds tension - the onset of time rushing forward. After this sequence of shortish pieces comes a three movement Violin Sonata by Jorge Grundman approaching 17 minutes duration. Grundman dedicated the work - entitled What Inspires Poetry - to Mozetich, a composer he greatly admires. The style is potently lyrical and ripely passionate (tr. 7 2:20) and romantic. The middle movement is more plangent, bluesy and uncertain in its progress. The writing becomes glinting, curvaceous and warmly happy in the finale. The final Russian Rag is by the Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin whose music for the UK Lloyds Bank TV commercial has etched its way into the national consciousness. Russian Rag reminds me of those Grappelli and Menuhin sentimental trifles and Joplin rags much issued by EMI in the 1970s. Like a Beecham lollipop this piece soothes the listener towards the end of the concert. This collection is original and mood-consistent - well worth tracking down. Malikian and Del Pino play vibrantly and are fairly closely miked throughout. Predominantly reflective-elegiac stuff.
Rob Barnett
Predominantly reflective-elegiac - attractive stuff ... see Full Review