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Ravel: Tzigane, Violin Sonata, Etc / Winther , Romaniuk, Wood

Release Date: 01/13/2009 
Label:  Melba   Catalog #: 301115   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Kristian WintherAnthony RomaniukMichelle Wood
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.


"The interpretation of these works is optimal. Winther has a beautiful, malleable sound that can be gentle or strong and his tuning is simply perfect. The accompaniment of the pianist stands out above all for dynamics, always shaped in tandem with the line drawn by the violin. And in the Sonata for violin and cello, Michelle Wood demonstrates that she spends a lot of time playing chamber music: the harmony that occurs in conversation between the two instruments is unsurpassed... For lovers of music by Ravel, this disc is absolutely indispensable." -- Juan Krakenberger, MUNDO CLASICO (Spain)
Read more /> “All three bring exuberant and fresh artistry to the celebrated pieces Deux mélodies hébraïques, Pièce en forme de Habañera, Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2, the rarely performed Sonata for Violin and Cello and the title work, Tzigane. These world-class performances of Ravel’s exciting and colourful music are recorded in superb SACD sound and the elegant packaging, including a 34-page illustrated booklet, is of Melba’s usual high standard.” -- New Classics (UK)

“With remarkable sound that allows the technique and the sonorities of the three young artists to bloom, this CD is a beautiful surprise. The violinist Kristian Winther possesses all the requisite qualities to face Tzigane and that can be heard from the first note. By his side, cellist Michelle Wood and pianist Anthony Romaniuk offer welcome engagement in the sonatas … the musical discourse of these artists possesses the balance that the composer calls for and carries the undeniable stamp of inspiration.” -- Parutions.com (France)

“Kristian Winther clearly revels in the exotic exuberance of Ravel’s violin music…In all this he is more than ably supported by Anthony Romaniuk who offers sensitive support on every level…Melba’s customary plush presentation and SACD engineering are added incentives to support these young Australians. 4 stars” -- The Age ‘Green Guide’

“Winther really tears into the gypsy rhapsody with gusto – more than I’ve heard from any other recording of the work. 5 stars” -- Audiophile Audition (U.S.A.)

RAVEL Tzigane. Violin Sonata in G. Pièce en forme de habañera. 2 mélodies hébraïques . Sonata for Violin and Cello Kristian Winther (vn); Anthony Romaniuk (pn); Michelle Wood (vc) MELBA 301115 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 62:31)

This offering goes straight to near the top of my short list in repertoire that has been amply well served by artists the caliber of Leonidas Kavakos and Anne Epperson (the Sonata for Violin and Piano in G on Koch International Classics), The Kalichstein/Laredo/Robinson Trio (the Violin Sonata and the Sonata for Violin and Cello on Arabesque), Rachel Barton (before she became Rachel Barton Pine) and Wendy Warner (the Sonata for Violin and Cello on Çedille). All contain fine, technically faultless performances that do honor to the composer. All, I would say, with hindsight informed by the disc under review, are more or less middle-of-the-road. Over the years, I have taken to using the seemingly less damning phrase, “consensus performances,” to describe readings that fulfill general audience expectations but that don’t necessarily provide new, unexpectedly fresh insights. For many collectors it will be the discmates that will influence the decision of whether to buy or not. The Kavakos/Epperson effort teams the Ravel Violin Sonata with Franck’s Violin Sonata, Fauré’s Berceuse, op. 16, Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 6 for Solo Violin, and Saint-Saëns’s Caprice (after a study in the form of a waltz). The Kalichstein/Laredo/Robinson Trio (a two-disc offering) can make the claim of completeness. Along with a clutch of shorter Ravel pieces, it contains, in addition to the Violin Sonata and the Violin and Cello Sonata, the lovely Sonate posthume for violin and piano. The enterprising Pine/Warner disc offers, along with the Violin and Cello Sonata, Martin?’s Duo No. 2, Schulhoff’s Duo, and Kodály’s Duo, op. 7.

This Kristian Winther/Anthony Romaniuk/Michelle Wood release lacks only the Sonate posthume . I can understand this omission on the grounds that Ravel dropped this early and most Debussian of pieces from his œuvre.

Canberra-born Kristian Winther is a larger than life player who, in his technical finish and spontaneous musical insights, reminds me of Kennedy at his best. He tosses off Tzigane with utter ease and brilliance. He imbues the first movement of the Sonata with warm lyricism, the center (Blues) movement with jazzy drollery, and the finale with razor sharp precision. In his hands and those of the splendid pianist Anthony Romaniuk, the Pièce en forme de habañera exudes sexiness, and, teamed up with cellist Michelle Wood, the problematical Sonata for Violin and Cello is infused, where needed, with unabashed ugliness. This is hard-edged, darkly sinister, Ravel, and Winther and Wood rise unflinchingly to the piece’s challenges in a performance that alone is worth the price of admission. Add to this the fact that the Australian company Melba’s state-of-the-art hybrid surround sound is so vivid that one can almost literally taste it, and this disc truly becomes a top of the charts contender.

You will undoubtedly have noticed that, in my opening statement, I used the qualifying phrase “straight to near the top of my short list,” which raises the question of who can possibly better the performances under review. Recently, I came into possession of a Naïve release featuring a performance of Ravel’s Violin Sonata by Turkish composer/pianist Fazil Say. He is teamed up with a quite young violinist named Patricia Kopatchinskaya, and together they produce the most fundamentally rethought and compelling performance of the piece I have yet encountered. They also turn their illuminating insights to Beethoven’s Piano and Violin Sonata No. 9, op. 47, “Kreutzer,” and Bartók’s Danses populaires roumaines . As a further inducement, they offer a bracing account of Say’s own quite remarkable Sonata No. 7. The Ravel is particularly controversial. Half of my musical friends loathe it, the other half find it beyond stunning. I count myself in the latter camp. Oh well, no single performance of any music gets it all, but some come closer than others.

FANFARE: William Zagorski
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Works on This Recording

Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Kristian Winther (Violin), Anthony Romaniuk (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; France 
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Anthony Romaniuk (Piano), Kristian Winther (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923-1927; France 
Sonata for Violin and Cello by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Kristian Winther (Violin), Michelle Wood (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1922; France 
Mélodies hébraïques (2) by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Anthony Romaniuk (Piano), Kristian Winther (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1919; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Ravel: Tzigane, Kavendisch, Copland Sonata for vi July 4, 2014 By G. De Saint Malo F. See All My Reviews "I need a copy of the Copland Sonata for violin & Piano, Ravel; Tzigane & Kavendisch Gabriel de Saint Malo" Report Abuse
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