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Gunter Raphael: Music For Violin

Raphael / Reguig,Pauline / Kaunas
Release Date: 02/08/2011 
Label:  Toccata Classics   Catalog #: 122   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Günter Raphael
Performer:  Pauline ReguigEmilio PeroniDarius Kaunas
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



RAPHAEL Violin Sonatina in b, op. 52. Solo Violin Sonatas: in E, op. 46/2; in a, op. 46/1. Duo in g for 2 Violins, op. 47/1 1. Violin Sonata in C, op. 43 Pauline Reguig, 1 Darius Kaunas (vn); Emilio Peroni (pn) Read more TOCCATA 0122 (60:12)


Malcolm MacDonald’s booklet notes explain that the five works in Toccata’s collection of compositions for violin by Günter Raphael all come from his second period, when he had indulged in contrapuntal complexities that “strengthened” his generally melodious style, a development that had taken place during his years of difficult struggle with the Nazi regime. His Violin Sonatina from 1944, the latest work on the program, demonstrates the extent of that melodic gift and reflects an affinity with the music of Paul Hindemith. In the first movement, violinist Pauline Reguig’s richly expressive tone throws a spotlight on Raphael’s melodic side, while pianist Emilio Peroni chugs along like an insouciant sewing machine underneath—yet counterpoint never even threatens to stifle the movement’s high spirits. The two play the second movement, Breit und gesangvoll , affectingly, and they make the finale limp in what seem intentional intoxicated rhythms. The recorded sound, representing both instruments up close, transmits both the violin’s warm eloquence and the piano’s chattering garrulity.


The first of the two solo violin sonatas on the program, the Second in E Major, begins with a slow movement in which Reguig climbs slowly and ecstatically from a long-breathed melody at the beginning into the upper registers at the end. She makes an equally strong impression in the jaunty theme of the ensuing Scherzo. The notes mention Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s solo violin sonatas and Max Reger’s, works that resemble Raphael’s more closely than do the contributions to the genre by Johann Sebastian Bach, with their implied counterpoint, or by Eugène Ysaÿe, with their sinuous chromaticism; a better model from the Baroque era might be Telemann’s fantasies. Raphael’s finale begins more heavily, but grows livelier toward its conclusion. In these final passages, Reguig’s double-stops on occasion seem slightly insecure, though her interpretive grasp remains firm.


The Duo for Two Violins, in which violinist Darius Kaunas joins Reguig—and matches her, both tonally and stylistically—makes in its first movement a more severe impression that the second movement softens; the finale, on the other hand, bubbles with exuberant energy, the instruments accompanying each other in appealing melodic flights. The booklet identifies the performance of the First Solo Sonata as a recording premiere (and the others as digital premieres). Its first movement, In Form einer Fantasie , ranges more widely in its expressivity than does the corresponding movement from the Second Solo Sonata; it grows more animated before its conclusion. The second movement also begins in dour meditation, which never becomes either immobile or inexpressive in Reguig’performance, and closes with passages in double-stops reminiscent of the Malinconia from Ysaÿe’s Second Sonata. A brief, almost abrasive moto perpetuo brings the work to an abrupt end.


Raphael’s Third Violin Sonata comes from 1936, and though MacDonald assigns it to the second period, it sounds altogether warmer and more deeply imbued with romantic rhetoric than do the other works on the program; a greater sense of yearning generally softens its greater abstraction. Both Reguig and Peroni indulge the playfulness of the second movement’s opening section, to which the slow section provides effective, and in this performance, moving contrast before the return of the opening pages. The finale, Con fuoco , begins with a recitative-like cadenza; in it, Reguig demonstrates her mastery before launching into the movement proper, replete with grand statement and contrapuntal interplay.


Günter Raphael’s own violinist daughter, Christina, recorded the Solo Violin Sonata, op. 46/2, the Duo for Two Violins, op. 47/1, the Violin Sonata No. 3, op. 43, and the Violin Sonatina, op. 52; cpo included these performances in a two-disc collection (777 564). In these works, Raphael sounds less angular in the duo and warmer and more romantic (and tonally more ingratiating as well) in the Third Violin Sonata and in the Solo Sonata though no more elusive in the Sonatina; her more comprehensive set therefore should be the first choice for those exploring Günter Raphael’s works. Reguig’s performances and program nevertheless still deserve to be recommended.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonatina for violin & piano in B minor, Op. 52 by Günter Raphael
Performer:  Pauline Reguig (Violin), Emilio Peroni (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1944 
Date of Recording: 02/01/2010 
Venue:  Kammermusiksaal der Hochschule für Musik 
Length: 11 Minutes 39 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for solo violin No. 2 in E major, Op. 46/2 by Günter Raphael
Performer:  Pauline Reguig (Violin)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1940 
Date of Recording: 03/12/2010 
Venue:  Kammermusiksaal der Hochschule für Musik 
Length: 11 Minutes 9 Secs. 
3.
Duo for Viola and Cello, Op. 47: no 4 by Günter Raphael
Performer:  Pauline Reguig (Violin), Darius Kaunas (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/12/2010 
Venue:  Kammermusiksaal der Hochschule für Musik 
Length: 10 Minutes 1 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for solo violin No. 1 in A minor, Op. 46/1 by Günter Raphael
Performer:  Pauline Reguig (Violin)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1940 
Date of Recording: 03/12/2010 
Venue:  Kammermusiksaal der Hochschule für Musik 
Length: 8 Minutes 9 Secs. 
5.
Sonata for violin & piano No. 3 in C major, Op. 43/3 by Günter Raphael
Performer:  Pauline Reguig (Violin), Emilio Peroni (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1936 
Date of Recording: 02/01/2010 
Venue:  Kammermusiksaal der Hochschule für Musik 
Length: 16 Minutes 22 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Violin Sonatina in B minor, Op. 52: I. Massig
Violin Sonatina in B minor, Op. 52: II. Breit und gesangvoll
Violin Sonatina in B minor, Op. 52: III. Tanzerisch belebt, dabei etwas schwerfallig und derb
Violin Sonata in E major, Op. 46, No. 2: I. Sehr langsam
Violin Sonata in E major, Op. 46, No. 2: II. Scherzo: Ganze takte
Violin Sonata in E major, Op. 46, No. 2: III. Gemessen
Duo Sonata in G minor, Op. 47, No. 1: I. Mit lebhafter energie
Duo Sonata in G minor, Op. 47, No. 1: II. Langsam gehend (in fliessender bewegung)
Duo Sonata in G minor, Op. 47, No. 1: III. Nicht zu lebhaft, ein wenig gemachlich
Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 46, No. 1: I. In Form einer freien Fantasie
Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 46, No. 1: II. Ruhig und gesangvoll
Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 46, No. 1: III. Ausserst schnell
Violin Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 43: I. Vivace
Violin Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 43: II. Allegretto grazioso
Violin Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 43: III. Con fuoco

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