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Hendrik Andriessen: Cello Sonata; Violin Sonata; Inventions For Violin And Cello; Piano Trio

Andriessen / Amsterdam Bridge Ensemble
Release Date: 02/09/2010 
Label:  Cobra Records   Catalog #: 30   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Hendrik Andriessen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Bridge Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



Hendrik ANDRIESSEN Cello Sonata. Violin Sonata. Inventions for Violin and Cello. Piano Trio Amsterdam Bridge Ens COBRA 0030 (57:56)


This is a CD that sneaks up on you: A little-known composer. And artists (Jacobien Rozemond, violin; Doris Hochscheid, cello; Frans van Ruth, piano). And label (Cobra). Hendrik Andriessen (1892–1981), whose international respect was eclipsed by the worldwide fame of his son Louis, composed elegant, eloquent music. It Read more was also conservative for its time and classically formal. Andriessen was an organist who wrote much for his instrument; he also composed many masses and other vocal and choral works, both sacred and secular. There are also four effective concertos, four sterling symphonies, and other winning orchestral pieces, as well as a variety of chamber music, most of it not for string quartet. All of the chamber music that has surfaced on records has proven extraordinary; in Fanfare 29:2, I acclaimed his 1967 Sonata for Viola and Piano a masterpiece.


These earlier works fall just short of such acclamation. An expansive Andante tranquillo introduces the 1926 Cello Sonata, followed by three conventional fast-slow-fast movements. The piano is far more than accompaniment (think Rachmaninoff), running circles around the cello’s melodic line and harmonic underpinning. We have met and saluted this superb duo—Hochscheid and van Ruth—before, in two Audiomax SACDs of Dutch cello sonatas ( Fanfare 33:4). Their playing is every bit as fine here, but a too-reverberant recording bloats the sound a bit, losing some of the intimacy of the performance.


The 1932 Violin Sonata opens with an aggressive flourish, which then alternates with a more typical Andriessen serenity. The dry although never harsh tone of Rozemond’s instrument does the music more good than harm, rescuing it from the brink of sentimentality. As the disc progresses and the years pass, the music becomes ever more fascinating. The 1937 Three Inventions opens with an Adagio of unprecedented depth. The violin is warmer now, and the excess reverberation absent (these recordings were made in a Dutch church on three successive days in 2008). An equally moving Andante has the solo violin supported by light pizzicatos from the cello, and a brief Molto vivace serves as icing on the cake, with two almost independent lines vying for attention.


The opening Andante con molto espressivo of the 1939 Piano Trio is pure Andriessen, serene and elegant without a hint of superficiality. Balances are slightly askew, however; the excessive resonance is back, and a forceful violin pushes to the front of the soundstage. The latter must be intentional, as the two string instruments share equally in the vibrant Presto that follows, relieved by a ghostly Trio in which they share solo time—an extended passage that adds an exotic element to Andriessen’s palette. The closing movement, Tempo sostenuto ma appassionato, is unusually strong and weighty for this subtle composer. It is a fascinating piece, filled with surprises. The disc, which began in such an understated manner, has made a lasting impression, as does almost everything by this underrated composer.


FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for cello & piano by Hendrik Andriessen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Bridge Ensemble
Written: 1926 
Venue:  Westvest kerk, Schiedam, The Netherlands 
Length: 15 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for violin & piano by Hendrik Andriessen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Bridge Ensemble
Written: 1932 
Venue:  Westvest kerk, Schiedam, The Netherlands 
Length: 11 Minutes 9 Secs. 
3.
Inventions (3), for violin & cello by Hendrik Andriessen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Bridge Ensemble
Written: 1937 
Venue:  Westvest kerk, Schiedam, The Netherlands 
Length: 10 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4.
Trio for piano, violin & cello by Hendrik Andriessen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Bridge Ensemble
Venue:  Westvest kerk, Schiedam, The Netherlands 
Length: 20 Minutes 17 Secs. 

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