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Violarra: 19th Century Virtuoso Music For Violin & Guitar

Violarra / Fister / Palier
Release Date: 05/11/2010 
Label:  Gramola   Catalog #: 98851   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz SchubertNiccolò PaganiniMauro GiulianiPablo de Sarasate,   ... 
Performer:  Helfried FisterJohann Palier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Violarra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



VIOLARRA, AN DIE MUSIK: 19TH-CENTURY VIRTUOSO MUSIC FOR VIOLIN AND GUITAR Helfried Fister (vn); Johann Palier (gtr) GRAMOLA 98851 (77:22)


SCHUBERT An die Musik. Arpeggione Sonata. PAGANINI Cantabile in D. Centone di Sonate: No. 16; No. 4. GIULIANI Gran Duetto concertante. Read more SARASATE Zigeunerweisen. BRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 5


Helfried Fister and Johann Palier present a compilation of music either written for (Paganini, Giuliani) or transcribed for (Schubert, Sarasate, Brahms) violin and guitar. Gramola’s recorded sound has captured the duo close up, reproducing the guitar’s ring (that instrument seems at times slightly more forward). Fister sounds plaintive in Palier’s arrangement of Schubert’s song An die Musik . Palier’s adaptation of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata, a sort of staple of the violist’s repertoire, offers a broader expressive canvas for the violinist, but seems to offer the guitarist a great deal as well. If Fister’s violin generically lacks the viola’s (or cello’s) resonance, he still makes what sounds like an idiomatic case for the work’s first movement, although Palier creates perhaps the lion’s share of its timbral interest. In the slow movement, however, Fister, deploying richly suggestive timbres, takes the lead in exploring the remote, dark expressive regions that lie within the movement’s ambitus; in the finale, Palier again creates a fascinating timbral display that enhances rather than distracts from his reading.


In Paganini’s familiar Cantabile , Fister sounds somewhat viscous, and though his tone remains winning throughout, its honeyed character may strike some as preventing the melody from soaring. In the first of the two Paganini sonatas, however, Fister exudes plenty of energy in the opening movement and plenty of dazzle in the second; the duo’s reading of the second sonata carries the aria-like lyricism of the first movement into the Rondo as well, striking a balance there of affect and effect and ending with a brilliant flash.


Mauro Giuliani’s roughly contemporaneous duets have almost become staples of the violin and guitar repertoire. Perlman recorded his duo with John Williams (CBS MK 34508); Rainer Kussmaul and Sonja Prunnbauer played it on MDG 603 0860-2, Fanfare 23:1; and Monica Huggett essayed it with Richard Savino on a period instrument (Harmonia Mundi HMU 907116, 18:6). In the first movement, the instruments achieve a sort of parity in the complexity of the writing for their respective instruments and Fister and Palier cooperate intimately, making light of the underlying timbral differences. In the strutting Menuetto, the guitar takes on more obviously the role of accompanist, despite some flashes of virtuosity that Palier plays with panache. The panache dominates in their reading of the last movement.


Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen perhaps too soon became an embalmed corpse, but in Fister and Palier’s reading, it sounds as Gypsy-like as a hot-blooded performance of Ravel’s Tzigane . Both instrumentalists play a role in the re-creation: Palier in his own dramatic guitar adaptation of the orchestral part (as he explains in his notes) that serves as more than a mere accompaniment, and Fister with a rhapsodic, quasi-improvisatory reading that suggests the campfire as vividly as it does the concert hall, especially in the opening sections, though the final pages hardly lack brilliance. The program closes with a stirring performance of Brahms’s familiar Fifth Hungarian Dance in an unfamiliar setting. Recommended for the consistently intriguing arrangements as well as for the imaginative cooperation of the instrumentalists and the wide variety of the music they so successfully capture.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
An die Musik, D 547 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Helfried Fister (Violin), Johann Palier (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Violarra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Kirche der Barmherzigen Brüder, Kainbach 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Arpeggione in A minor, D 821 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Johann Palier (Guitar), Helfried Fister (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Violarra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Kirche der Barmherzigen Brüder, Kainbach 
Length: 23 Minutes 33 Secs. 
3.
Cantabile for Violin and Piano in D major by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Helfried Fister (Violin), Johann Palier (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Violarra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1824 
Venue:  Kirche der Barmherzigen Brüder, Kainbach 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
4.
Centone di Sonate (18) for Violin and Guitar, Op. 64: no 16 in C major by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Helfried Fister (Violin), Johann Palier (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Violarra
Period: Romantic 
Written: after 1828 
Venue:  Kirche der Barmherzigen Brüder, Kainbach 
Length: 11 Minutes 37 Secs. 
5.
Centone di Sonate (18) for Violin and Guitar, Op. 64: no 4 in A major by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Johann Palier (Guitar), Helfried Fister (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Violarra
Period: Romantic 
Written: after 1828 
Venue:  Kirche der Barmherzigen Brüder, Kainbach 
Length: 9 Minutes 37 Secs. 
6.
Gran duetto concertante for Flute and Guitar, Op. 52 by Mauro Giuliani
Performer:  Johann Palier (Guitar), Helfried Fister (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Violarra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1813-1814; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Kirche der Barmherzigen Brüder, Kainbach 
Length: 15 Minutes 24 Secs. 
7.
Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 by Pablo de Sarasate
Performer:  Johann Palier (Guitar), Helfried Fister (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Violarra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878 
Venue:  Kirche der Barmherzigen Brüder, Kainbach 
Length: 7 Minutes 55 Secs. 
8.
Hungarian Dances (21) for Orchestra, WoO 1: no 5 in G minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Johann Palier (Guitar), Helfried Fister (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Violarra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Austria 
Venue:  Kirche der Barmherzigen Brüder, Kainbach 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 

Sound Samples

An die Musik, Op. 88, No. 4, D. 547 (arr. J. Palier)
Arpeggione in A minor, D. 821 (arr. J. Palier): I. Allegro moderato
Arpeggione in A minor, D. 821 (arr. J. Palier): II. Adagio
Arpeggione in A minor, D. 821 (arr. J. Palier): III. Allegretto
Cantabile in D major, Op. 17, MS 109 (arr. J. Palier)
Centone di sonate, Op. 64, MS 112: Sonata No. 16 in E major: I. Allegro vivace
Centone di sonate, Op. 64, MS 112: Sonata No. 16 in E major: II. Minuetto a valtz: Allegro vivo
Centone di sonate, Op. 64, MS 112: Sonata No. 4 in A major: I. Adagio cantabile
Centone di sonate, Op. 64, MS 112: Sonata No. 4 in A major: II. Rondo: Andantino allegretto
Gran Duetto Concertante, Op. 52: I. Andante sostenuto
Gran Duetto Concertante, Op. 52: II. Menuetto: Allegro vivace
Gran Duetto Concertante, Op. 52: III. Rondo militaire: Allegretto
Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 (arr. J. Palier)
21 Hungarian Dances, WoO 1: No. 5 in G minor (arr. J. Palier)

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