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Pablo SARASATE (1844-1908)
Works for Violin and Piano - Volume 4: Transcriptions
Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925)

Guitarra, Op. 45, No. 2 [3:37]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Waltz No. 4 in F [2:51]
Waltz No. 3 in A minor [5:16]
Waltz No. 8 in A flat [3:20]
Nocturne No. 2 in E flat [4:50]
Nocturne No. 8 in D [6:09]
Souvenirs de Faust (on themes from Gounod’s opera) [11:07]
Jean-Pierre GUIGNON (1702-1775)
Allegro from Sonata No. 1 [3:24]
Jean-Joseph de MONDONVILLE (1711-1772)
La Chasse from Sonata No. 5 [2:21]
Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764)
From Violin Sonata Op. 9, No. 3: III. Sarabande [2:07]
IV. Tambourin [4:03]
George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759)
Largo from Xerxes [5:38]
Jean-Baptiste SENAILLÉ (1687-1730)
Allegro from Sonata No. 9 [2:29]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Air from Suite in D major, BWV 1086 [4:22]
Joachim RAFF (1822-1882)
La fée d’amour [17:49]
Tianwa Yang (violin)
Markus Hadulla (piano)
rec. Clara-Wieck-Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany, 1-6 December and 20 November 2012.
NAXOS 8.572709 [79:46]

Yet again in her Sarasate series for Naxos, Tianwa Yang continues to delight us with her magnificent musicianship. I was bowled over by Volume 3 and the comments I made about that CD can be taken as read here for volume 4.

Turning to this latest volume, the superlative standards are maintained. Ms Yang deserves a 10 out 10 for her performances which are captured in warm, resonant sound. There just remains the simple matter of the music. The opening Guitarra is played with great swagger and Markus Hadulla shows again what a fine accompanist he is. The ensuing Chopin transcriptions are all lush and sensuous. There’s no flashy virtuosity here, even in the thrilling Waltz No.4, played immaculately with a full soaring tone on the E string. It’s very much Chopin meets Kreisler and everything is as smooth as silk. Souvenirs de Faust is a well written “Greatest Hits” medley of memorable tunes from Gounod’s opera including the famous Waltz and Soldiers Chorus.

The French baroque pieces, Bach’s Air and Handel’s Largo are all done in a ravishing cantabile style and then we come to the final showstopper - Raff’s La fée d’amour. It really is an extraordinary piece running for the best part of 18 minutes. The technical demands on the soloist are immense but Ms Yang just sails through the music. She really does leave the best till last. This jaw-dropping playing is a fitting climax to another great CD.

Many of us still have pedestals reserved for the great players of the golden age - Milstein, Heifetz, Kogan and Gitlis to name just four of my own favourite violinists. This young lady is up there with the best of them. This is a must-buy for fans of violin artistry and the music of Sarasate. The icing on the cake is the Raff. This is fabulous stuff and to top it all we have a very generous playing time at bargain price. Just buy it.

John Whitmore

Previous review: Lucy Jeffrey