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Opera Fantasies For Violin / Sohn, Loeb, Nuttall

Release Date: 10/30/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570202   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Igor StravinskyJenö HubayJoachim RaffOsvaldo Golijov,   ... 
Performer:  Livia SohnBenjamin LoebGeoff Nuttall
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Judging from this wonderfully varied and well-programmed recital, the 19th century operatic fantasy for violin is as alive and well in the 21st century as it was in the 20th. It's true that many works in this genre exist mainly to show off one's virtuosity, yet violinist Livia Sohn clearly has brains to go with her dazzling fingers. Take Stefan Frenkel's Threepenny Opera transcription, for example. In addition to Sohn's effortless negotiation of the Useless Song's pizzicato arpeggios, upon each repetition she inflects Mack the Knife's simple repeating melody with subtle variations that never sound different for the sake of being different. She imparts heartfelt musicality and dignity to Raff's
Read more amusingly vapid Lohengrin transcription, and while she insouciantly tosses off Hubay's fluffy rewrite of Carmen's greatest hits, her phrasing always is informed by a vocal sensibility.

The range of color and dynamic shading she brings to Stephen Prutsman's 15-minute Der Rosenkavalier fantasia makes the violin writing seem more varied in mood and texture than it often is. Interestingly, the haunting vocal line and gorgeous orchestration of Desde mi ventana from Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar turns somewhat static when transcribed for violin and piano (actually two violins: Geoff Nuttall enters about two-thirds of the way into the work), although it's worth hearing for Sohn's slow, sustained lower-register work. In addition to providing colorful and sharply characterized accompaniments, Benjamin Loeb proves an effective transcriber in his own right as he skillfully transforms Bizet's famous Pearl Fishers duet for violin and viola. Naxos' excellent engineering and booklet notes seal my recommendation with a solid "10/10".

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Mavra: Oh, my dearest one "Parasha's Song" by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Livia Sohn (Violin), Benjamin Loeb (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1922; France 
Fantasie brillante on Bizet's "Carmen", Op. 3 no 3 by Jenö Hubay
Performer:  Livia Sohn (Violin), Benjamin Loeb (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877 
Length: 8 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Duo for Vln/Cel and Piano in A major, Op. 59 by Joachim Raff
Performer:  Livia Sohn (Violin), Benjamin Loeb (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Hamburg, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Ainadamar: Desde mi ventana by Osvaldo Golijov
Performer:  Livia Sohn (Violin), Benjamin Loeb (Piano), Geoff Nuttall (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 7 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: USA (By 2003).
Composition revised: By 2005. 
Die Dreigroschenoper: Die Moritat von Mackie Messer "Mack the knife" by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Livia Sohn (Violin), Benjamin Loeb (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Fantasy on Themes from R. Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier" by Stephen Prutsman
Performer:  Benjamin Loeb (Piano), Livia Sohn (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 15 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is presented in an excerpted form. 
Introduction and Variations for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 13 "Di tanti palpiti" by Niccolň Paganini
Performer:  Livia Sohn (Violin), Benjamin Loeb (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Italy 
Length: 11 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Les pęcheurs de perles: Au fond du temple saint by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Benjamin Loeb (Piano), Geoff Nuttall (Viola), Livia Sohn (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Le Roi d'Ys: Vainement, ma bien-aimée [Aubade] by Edouard Lalo
Performer:  Livia Sohn (Violin), Benjamin Loeb (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1888; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 

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