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REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


CÚsar FRANCK (1822-1890)
Violin Sonata in A (1886) [26:04]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Fantasie in C, D934 (1827) [21:42]
Rondeau brilliant in B minor, D895 (1826) [14:51]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin sonata No. 8 in G Major, Op. 30/3 (1803) [17:01]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78 (1879) [26:28]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Sonata for Piano and Violin in B flat major, K454 (1784) [22:25]
Sonata for Piano and Violin in G major, K379 (373a) (1781) [17:21]
Ildebrando PIZZETTI (1880-1868)
Tre Canti (1924) [12:04]
Pina Carmirelli (violin)
Friedrich Wilhelm Schnurr (piano: Franck, Schubert Fantasie)
Lothar Broddack (piano: Beethoven, Brahms, Pizzetti, Mozart K454)
Maria Bergmann (piano: Mozart K379)
rec. 1966-69, Hanover Funkhaus, North German Radio except Brahms: Ettlingen, Schloss, South German Radio and Mozart K379: Baden-Baden, Studio 1 South West Radio
MELOCLASSIC MC2031 [79:53 + 78:19]

Pina Carmirelli (1914-1993) studied with the great Italian player and pedagogue – later to enjoy great esteem in Berlin – Arrigo Serato, and afterwards with Michelangelo Abbado. Though her early days were as a soloist, she is best known for her quartet and orchestral work. In 1949 she founded the Quintetto Boccherini, an excellent ensemble that featured Arrigo Pelliccia as the alternating leader; like Carmirelli, he had studied with Serato. She began her own quartet in 1954 and was the first violinist of I Musici. But she kept up sonata work and was active at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, where she was accompanied by Rudolf Serkin. Her concerto performances took her across Europe and Russia, where she was joined by the best conductors of the day: Jochum, Horenstein, Barbirolli, Celibidache, Giulini, Monteux, and so on.

This twofer preserves German broadcast performances Carmirelli gave between 1966 and 1969. The sound quality is excellent, as is usual from this source. The repertoire is standard fare. Only the Pizzetti hints at her nationality. The Franck Sonata, with Friedrich Wilhelm Schnurr, exposes some limitations in tone colour as well as some hoarse and indeed wild phrasing in the Allegro second movement – though her phrasing in the third movement is fine. Some expressive slides grace the finale, and it is possibly the recording that exaggerates some brittle chording. She seems more temperamentally attuned to Schubert’s Fantasie, recorded at the same time, which is conceptually and architecturally excellent, even if some pinched tone remains. Her bowing is flexible throughout. With the dependable Lothar Broddack, once again in Hannover, she taped an excellent Schubert Rondo and a breathless Beethoven G major, with an ardently phrased Minuetto and a zesty finale.

She teams up with Broddack for a buoyant and enjoyable Mozart B flat major sonata, K454, and for the Pizzetti, which is characterfully done and accomplished. For the other Mozart Sonata, the G major, K379, she was paired with Maria Bergmann in Baden-Baden. Bergmann is a sensitive accompanist who plays the variation movement particularly deftly. They also taped Brahms’s G major sonata; it was a feast of G major that October day in 1968. There are some fine dynamics to be heard in this reading, as well as some ingenious rubati, though Carmirelli’s tone bloats quite alarmingly in the Adagio. Nevertheless, this is vividly done.

It is good that Carmirelli’s legacy has been expanded in this way, because all the pieces are new to her discography. Fine notes complete a good restoration.

Jonathan Woolf



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