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Svyati Duo Plays Music For Organ And Cello

Dupre / Jongen / Rheinberger / Hewes / Collings
Release Date: 08/10/2010 
Label:  Regent   Catalog #: 337   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Zsolt GárdonyiJoseph RheinbergerJoseph JongenCalvin Hampton,   ... 
Performer:  Julian CollingsRebecca Hewes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SVYATI DUO Rebecca Hewes (vc); Julian Collings (org) REGENT REGCD337 (69:24)


GÁRDONYI Variations on a Hungarian Chorale. RHEINBERGER 3 Pieces, op. 150. JONGEN Humoresque, op. 92. HAMPTON Procession through a Black Hole. Read more class="COMPOSER12">GUBAIDULINA In Croce. HEPPLEWHITE Invisible Landscapes. DUPRÉ Sonata in a, op. 60


Cello-organ duos are not exactly thick on the ground. Indeed, the question that immediately comes to mind is whether the cello can hold its own in such a tandem, given that its lower register does not endow it with the violin’s ability to pierce through and soar above the dense textures and masses of sound produced by its mighty partner. As the music on this CD proves, the answer to that inquiry is an unqualified “yes”—and the partnership for the most part even proves felicitous.


With one exception—the set of pieces by Joseph Rheinberger, rescored by the composer from originals for violin and organ—all of the works presented here are original compositions for this instrumental coupling. The rhapsodic Variations on a Hungarian Chorale by Zsolt Gárdonyi (b.1946) immediately brings to mind Zoltan Kodály (and Ernst Bloch’s Schelomo ) rather than Bela Bartók, so it is scarcely surprising to learn that the composer’s father, a church organist to whom the work is dedicated, was a Kodály pupil. As one might expect, the Rheinberger pieces (each of four to five minutes’ duration) all display the ingratiating melodiousness and undemanding accessibility typical of all their author’s works. Joseph Jongen’s Humoresque initially recalls the famous Toccata from the Fifth Organ Symphony of Charles Marie Widor, albeit recast as a dotted eighth-plus-16th-note rhythm underlying a lyrical dance-like tune and harmonized in a conservative 20th-century vein. Procession through a Black Hole by the renowned organist Calvin Hampton (1938–84) adds a tape of a Moog synthesizer to the two instruments to produce a work that sounds like any number of spooky sci-fi film scores; the annoying electronic accompaniment adds nothing of musical value and could easily be omitted, which would leave a far more pleasantly melodious duet instead. Invisible Landscapes by the young British composer Russell Hepplewhite (b.1982) is an original commission by this duo. An enjoyable and unabashedly tonal composition, it is cast in three very short movements; the first is slightly reminiscent of Bloch, the second brings to mind Anton Bruckner, while the third shows a decided French influence.


The most substantive work here is the Dupré sonata; it has a spikiness that recalls Francis Poulenc, but a density and somberness more redolent of César Franck. The Allegro marcato first movement is cast in A-B-A´-B´-A´´ form, alternating between fast sections with a rapidly moving figuration and slow sections with a meditative, lyrical second subject. A succeeding Allegro moderato features a slightly off-kilter 3/4 meter dance, with a somewhat slower second section. Finally, the concluding Allegro ma non troppo, cast in sonata form, has a first theme that is at once declamatory and yet anxious and hesitant, and a contrasting meno mosso second subject. Finally, as for the In Croce of Sofia Gubaidulina, I simply must recuse myself; I have a total antipathy toward her music, and consider it utterly hideous. Suffice it to say that this 15-minute work (another recording of which was reviewed in Fanfare 25:4 by Robert Kirzinger) is typical of her oeuvre , and those who admire her compositions will favor this as well.


The performances are exemplary. Rebecca Hewes has a sumptuous, mahogany tone and bold, arresting sound, and plays with both power and delicacy as required. Julian Collings is an able accompanist, with an excellent ear for apt choices of registrations and stops. The recorded sound is clear and well balanced, with no threat of the organ overshadowing its partner. The booklet provides notes on all the compositions, specifications for the organ, and numerous photos of the performers. Surprisingly, there is partial competition for this release; the works by Gárdonyi and Dupré, plus one of the three Rheinberger pieces, are also performed on an Alba CD by cellist Tibor Bogányi and organist Agnes Zaskaliczky, filled out with works by Camille Saint-Saëns, René Giullou, Gustav Adolf Merkel, Wolfgang Stockmeier, and Max Reger. I was not able to sample that disc; I cannot imagine that the performances on it could be superior to these, but some may prefer the stylistically more conservative companion pieces performed there. Despite my reservations regarding the works of Hampton and Gubaidulina, this disc is highly recommended to everyone interested in this somewhat offbeat repertoire.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1. Variations on a Hungarian Chorale, for cello & organ by Zsolt Gárdonyi
Performer:  Julian Collings (Organ), Rebecca Hewes (Cello), Rebecca Hewes (),
Julian Collings ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary' 
Length: 8 Minutes 18 Secs. 
2. Pieces (6) for Violin and Organ, Op. 150: no 2, Abendlied by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Rebecca Hewes (Cello), Julian Collings (Organ), Julian Collings (),
Rebecca Hewes ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary' 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3. Pieces (6) for Violin and Organ, Op. 150: no 4, Pastorale by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Rebecca Hewes (Cello), Rebecca Hewes (), Julian Collings (Organ),
Julian Collings ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary' 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
4. Pieces (6) for Violin and Organ, Op. 150: no 5, Elegie by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Rebecca Hewes (), Julian Collings (Organ), Julian Collings (),
Rebecca Hewes (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary' 
Length: 5 Minutes 6 Secs. 
5. Humoresque for Cello and Organ, Op. 92 by Joseph Jongen
Performer:  Julian Collings (Organ), Julian Collings (), Rebecca Hewes (Cello),
Rebecca Hewes ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; Belgium 
Venue:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary' 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
6. Procession through a Black Hole, for cello & organ by Calvin Hampton
Performer:  Julian Collings (), Rebecca Hewes (), Rebecca Hewes (Cello),
Julian Collings (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary' 
Length: 5 Minutes 24 Secs. 
7. In croce by Sofia Gubaidulina
Performer:  Julian Collings (Organ), Rebecca Hewes (), Rebecca Hewes (Cello),
Julian Collings ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; USSR 
Venue:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary' 
Length: 15 Minutes 18 Secs. 
8. Invisible Landscapes, for cello & organ by Russell Hepplewhite
Performer:  Julian Collings (Organ), Rebecca Hewes (Cello), Rebecca Hewes (),
Julian Collings ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary' 
Length: 8 Minutes 37 Secs. 
9. Sonata for Cello and Organ in A minor, Op. 60 by Marcel Dupré
Performer:  Rebecca Hewes (), Rebecca Hewes (Cello), Julian Collings (),
Julian Collings (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syvati Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; France 
Venue:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary' 
Length: 14 Minutes 0 Secs. 

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