Intégrale des Pièces pour Violon et Piano, volume
4: El Ruiseñor
Serenata Andaluza, op.28 (1878) [6:30]
Balada, op.31 [8:24]
Bolero, op.30 (1885) [5:52]
Airs Ecossais, op.34 (1883) [8:38]
Sérénade Andalouse, op.10 (1865) [5:05]
El Canto del Ruiseñor, op.29 (1885) [9:01]
Melodía Rumana, op.47 (1901) [3:19]
Confidences, op.7 [5:44]
L'Esprit Follet, op.48 [4:30]
Diego Tosi (violin)
Denis Pascal (piano)
rec. 12-13 June 2011; 13 April 2009 (op.10), 27 February 2010 (op.48),
22-23 December 2010 (opp.29, 34, 47). No venue given. DDD
SOLSTICE SOCD 263 [57:35]
This is the fourth and final volume of French label Solstice's
'Complete Works for Violin and Piano' series dedicated to Spanish
composer Pablo Sarasate; the nobiliary particle 'de' is usually
dropped in Spanish usage, as it is on this disc. All the works
are performed by Diego Tosi and Denis Pascal.
Sarasate's phenomenal technique as a soloist is well demonstrated
by these pieces, which aspire to greater things than his candescent
potpourris, confined in this series to volume 1 (SOCD 260).
Still, the majority are around the five-minute mark in length,
and thus cannot entirely throw off the salon music epithet.
That said, much of the music here is of considerable stand-alone
merit. That fact is announced immediately by the opening item,
the first of the two Andalusian Serenades, where evocative melodies
jostle with violinistic fireworks.
This volume is subtitled 'El Ruiseñor', after Sarasate's
op.29, The Song of the Nightingale in English. According
to Diego Tosi in his notes, such is the theme that loosely unites
these final pieces. Certainly there are plenty of memorable
tunes, often soaring to heights that a skylark, let alone a
nightingale, would be proud of. One of the loveliest works is
the Airs Ecossais, which Sarasate dedicated to no less
a master than Eugène Ysaÿe, and serves as a convenient
reminder too that Max Bruch dedicated his Scottish Fantasy
to Sarasate - let alone the fact that the latter had countless
other leading composers queuing up to do the same with their
own various violin masterpieces.
A personal favourite of Sarasate's was the title work, an outstanding
tribute to the filigree song of the nightingale and a testament
to his own violin wizardry. Diego Tosi may not be another Sarasate,
but he sure does a fine impersonation of one in a performance
full of elegance, warmth and wit, quite apart from all the virtuosity.
By comparison pianist Denis Pascal has relatively little to
do, but supports Tosi very attentively nonetheless.
Sound quality is top-class in what is probably a French studio
recording - the CD does not specify location. The disc comes
in a digipak-style case: the booklet slides into a slot, which
is normally a bad idea, but in this case it is slim and the
slot made of strong card, so it will probably last well enough.
There are detailed notes on the works in French and English
- odd that there is no Spanish translation for a Spanish composer.
No biographies of Tosi or Pascal have been provided either:
presumably these appeared in volume 1.
Collected reviews and contact at reviews.gramma.co.uk