Notes and Editorial Reviews
Violin Sonata No. 2.
Violin Sonata No. 1.
Rudens Turku (vn); Milana Chernyavska (pn)
AVIE AV 2080 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 65:29)
Rudens Turku, not yet in his thirties, is a gifted and confident violinist with a secure technique, a gorgeous sound, and a well-developed sense of architecture. Yet at this stage in his career, he sometime seems
slightly too detached from the music he?s playing. You couldn?t call his playing chilly?his tone is too rich for that. Nor could you fairly accuse him of reticence, at least on the surface?his dynamic contrasts are often dramatic, and he leaps, say, into the Vivace sections of the second movement of the Brahms with a bracing enthusiasm. Still, there?s a sporadic lack of emotional specificity. His playing is unfailingly elegant and optimistic, even when the music demands that he roughen up his tone (say, the first movement of the Schumann); and he keeps a level head, even when the music requires temperamental volatility (for instance, the finale of the Schumann), when it asks for a bit of romantic inflection to the lines (much of the Brahms, especially the middle movement, is slightly flat in its phrasing), or when it needs a greater sense of forward pressure (the first movement of the Franck).
There?s still a lot to admire here: the dazzling clarity of gesture in the last movement of the Schumann, the vitality of the faster music in the second movement of the Franck, and the powerful roiling of the Franck?s finale (arguably the most compelling playing on the disc). And throughout the recital, pianist Milana Chernyavska shows a remarkable musical imagination, bringing to the scores an exceptional range of color and a fine sensitivity to nuance. The opening measures of the Brahms, for instance, are shaded with a seductive sympathy to the rise and fall of the phrases and of the emotional weight of the harmonies; the more impressionistic passages of the second movement of the Franck have an astonishing luminosity. And so it goes throughout the recital?this is playing of real distinction. A solo disc from her would be welcome.
The sound is first-rate in all formats, with a special sense of space in the multichannel version; the notes are fine. In sum, this is not a replacement for the classic recordings of this repertoire: Oistrakh and Richter in the Brahms and Franck, Kremer and Argerich in the Schumann, Szeryng and Rubinstein in the Brahms, or Thibaud and Cortot in the Franck (to mention just a few favorites). But it can be warmly recommended to those interested in new talent. We?ll surely be hearing more from these players.
FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
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