Product Description & Reviews
This record represents an interesting combination of styles: two works by Stravinsky, one neo-classical (Duo concertante--1932)and one quasi-baroque (Suite Italienne--1933), based on themes by Pergolesi and taken from his ballet Pulcinella, both for violin and piano. There are also two authentic baroque works: Bach's G-minor Sonata and B-minor Partita for unaccompanied violin. The program alternates the two composers, beginning with the least-accessible work, the Duo, which, with its wildly conflicting textures, cross-rhythms, meters and accents, sometimes sounds as if the performers were playing two different pieces simultaneously. Ferociously difficult, its three fast movements are dissonant, abrasive, and percussive, but the two slow ones are beautiful, sustained outpourings of songful lyricism. In the Suite, Stravinsky seems to be poking fun both at Pergolesi and himself, superimposing his own irregular rhythms and dissonances on the comparatively simple, innocent classical Italian opera melodies, and ending in an avalanche of hammered-out chords. The playing is terrific. Kavakos, a multiple first-prize winner, is a stunning but unobtrusive virtuoso with a gorgeous, variable, intense, expressive tone. He and Nagy, a splendid pianist and empathetic partner, clear all technical hurdles with easy aplomb, and bring out the Duo's dramatic contrasts and the Suite's sly humor and charm. In the Bach, Kavakos goes semi-baroque, tuning his strings a half-step low and playing with sparing vibrato (but perfect intonation and a flawlessly pure tone), clear voice leading, incisive articulation, and often double-dotted rhythm. He arpeggiates all the chords, breaking them upward even if the voice to be sustained lies elsewhere. The Partita is a string of real dances: stately, austere, and brilliantly exuberant, but never excessively fast. In the Sonata, the sound is strangely over-reverberent, which helps sustain the chords, but minimizes the dynamic contrast. The first movement has a free, improvisatory feeling, but is surprisingly restless; the others are admirable. --Edith Eisler
Features & Highlights
|Item Weight:||0.27 pounds|
|Item Size:||5.67 x 0.55 x 0.55 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.18 pounds|
|Package Size:||4.97 x 0.54 x 0.54 inches|
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