Remembrances from Home Isaac ALB…NIZ(1860-1909)
Mallorca [5:06] Josť Pablo MONCAYO (1912-1958)
Viola Sonata (1934) [15:58] Cecil FORSYTH (1870-1941)
Chanson Celtique [6:03] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Une Piece en forme díun Habanera [2:40] Ivan KHANDOSHKIN (1747-1804)
Deux Chansons Russes varieť, for violin and cello Op.4 Ė No.2; Variations
on a Russian theme of Love (1783-92) [10:55] Bohuslav MARTINU
Viola Sonata No.1 (1955) [15:19] Stan GOLESTAN (1875-1956)
Arioso et Allegro de Concert [8:42]
Christina Placilla (viola)
Hector Landa (piano)
rec. April 2008, Ovation Sound, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
CENTAUR CRC 3045 [64:43]
This recital mixes original works for viola and piano with transcriptions.
The balance is finely judged and the hour or so passes congenially.
An example of the latter mix is Mallorca, which is played wistfully
but with a touch of nasal tone by Christina Placilla. She and
Hector Landa follow it with a bona fide sonata by the Mexican
Josť Pablo Moncayo, whose 1934 three movement work lasts for
around sixteen minutes. There are some striking rhythmic Ďsnapsí
for the pianist Ė here Hector Landa, who plays well throughout
- where the viola figuration accompanies subserviently, and
thereís plenty of stalking vitality. The austerely lyric line
spun by the viola in the slow movement, after the abrupt piano
start, is an astutely judged tactic. The notes, by the violist,
speak of the sonata owing much to Native Mexican music, as well
as to Spanish and African rhythms; she says that the finale
sounds ĎAztecí. Iím not up on Aztec music but if it means rhythmically
exhausting, Iíll steer clear. Itís a disappointing end, this
Ďfinale problemí, to the sonata.
Cecil Forsyth was about as un-Aztec as itís possible to get
and his Chanson Celtique is a pleasant example of a well mined
seam; his Viola Concerto is on Hyperion.
Khandoshkin is enjoying something of a vogue at the moment,
at least in relative terms, given his significance in Russian
music. His Variations on a Russian theme of Love derives from
the second of his Deux Chansons Russes varieť, for violin and
cello Op.4. The arrangement heard here comes via Vadim Borisovskyís
orchestration, which the two current performers have adapted.
Itís a bold work, owing quite a bit to Tartini and his ilk,
and replete with virtuosic demands. Itís always good to hear
proponents of Martinuís music for viola, and the First Sonata,
written for Lillian Fuchs (1901-1995) in 1955 is heard to advantage
here. And so too is Stan Golestanís Arioso et Allegro de Concert.
The Arioso, though based on the Romanian DoÔna, is a touch cosmopolitan
but Golestan gets down to business in the Allegro, which utilises
the Hora, and consequently thereís plenty of vitality and opportunities
for panache. I donít know many fiddlers who have proselytised
for Golestan but one who did was violinist Lola Bobescu.
Agreeably recorded, this is an attractive disc, and will appeal
to viola-fanciers looking for some off-beat material.
† Jonathan Woolf †
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