La Capricieuse
Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840)
La Campanella [3:45]
Cantabile for violin and piano/guitar in D major, Op. 17, MS 109 [4:58]
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
La Capricieuse, Op. 17 [3:53]
Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
Lyric Pieces Op. 12: No. 2 – Waltz [2:16]
Ethelbert NEVIN (1862-1901)
The Rosary [1:54]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Moments Musicaux, D780: No. 3 in F minor [2:12]
Tomaso VITALI (1663-1745)
Chaconne in G minor [4:04]
Franz HAYDN (1732-1809)
Piano Trio No. 39 in G major, Hob.XV:25: Finale 'Rondo all'ongarese' [3:21]
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Scheherazade, Op. 35: Arabian Song [7:09]
Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904)
Humoresque in G flat major, Op. 101 No. 7 [3:16]
Theresia von PARADIS (1759-1824)
Sicilienne [3:34]
Alexander ALABIEV (1787-1851)
The Nightingale [2:38]
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Tango [3:37]
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Aprčs un ręve, Op. 7 No. 1 [3:25]
Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908)
Danza Espańola No. 3: Romanza Andaluza, Op. 22, No. 1 [5:41]
Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25 [5:40]
Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962)
Liebesleid [4:02]
Caprice Viennois, Op. 2 [5:07]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Trinklied, WoO 109 [2:50]
Michaela Paetsch Neftel (violin)
Wieslaw Pipczynski (accordion)
rec. March 2009, Kinst- und Kulturzentrum, Kehrsatz, Berne
TUDOR 7168 [74:34]

American violinist Michaela Paetsch Neftel takes time off from her rather more serious recorded undertakings of contemporary music, Brahms, and Raff, to plough a lighter furrow with fine accordionist Wieslaw Pipczynski.

The rationale is to advance the violin-accordion team in canonic violin repertoire. This portable, perambulatory duo is, however, not propounding the kind of thing one hears being peddled at a tapas bar in downtown Seville, or indeed at pavement cafés in Paris. It’s a lot more rectitudinous than frivolous. And those who might have expected a bandoneon to appear presenting Piazzolla will be disappointed — or relieved, according to taste; I’m delighted; who needs more Piazzolla?

If you do fancy the lighter side of things then there’s enough to be getting on with here. There is some Paganini and Sarasate to engage the virtuosic juices. The accordion backing in the Vitali Chaconne reminded me for a brief moment of Heifetz’s great recording with organ accompaniment — one of the greatest violin records ever made — but only because of the similarity of the accompanying sonorities. The Alabiev was originally written for coloratura soprano but survives the translation relatively well. The Kreisler-Rimsky transcription is taken quite slowly. Others things emerge less well. The Elgar sounds clunky for the accordion and Neftel makes a meal of her phrasing. I didn’t much like the Dvorák Humoresque because of the accordion, nor the Fauré because of Neftel’s too intense vibrato. The Carmen Fantasy could do with more dash, and Caprice Viennois is over-stately, and far too slow; I’m not sure whether this was her tempo decision, or dictated by the nature of the accordion accompaniment.

So, even on relaxed critical grounds this is a bit of a hit and miss disc. I sense things have been dragged out a bit, tempo wise, in one or two cases and whilst the balance between the two instruments is pretty good, I’m not sure that this recital could be accounted a total success.

Jonathan Woolf

A bit of a hit and miss disc.