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Elogio Per Un'ombra / Michelle Makarski, Thomas Larcher


Release Date: 11/14/2000 
Label:  Ecm   Catalog #: 465337   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Luigi DallapiccolaLuciano BerioElliott CarterAnonymous,   ... 
Performer:  Thomas LarcherMichelle Makarski
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Originality, whether it's embodied in a recently composed work or is presented as a new way of looking at and/or programming older pieces, is a hallmark of ECM's recordings and this one is no exception. I was not familiar with American violinist Michelle Makarski nor with several of the pieces on this disc, most of which are for solo violin. So, as a curious listener with no preconceived notion of this disc's concept or content (I didn't even begin by reading the liner notes), I can happily report that Makarski has succeeded in one of the more underrated aspects of a performer's art: creating a thoughtful, intelligent, purposeful program. Although a quick glance at the composers will tell you that
Read more they are either Italian or have musical ties to Italy and to each other, it takes serious listening to discern the music's stylistic connections, and awareness of the provenance of each work to know that another "theme"--remembrance--lies beneath the collective surface.

The program's connecting thread is a sonata by 18th-century composer Giuseppe Tartini that includes a theme and variations. Makarski intersperses the modern works with the sonata and several of the variations. As you discover, even the 20th century pieces borrow from earlier stylistic techniques--and there are times that Tartini sounds strangely contemporary. But as the program progresses, we are constantly moving along a musical path of varying shadows and light, from traditional tonality to atonality to serialism and back again. It's gentle and subtle, then stark and surprising. Overall, the quality of the modern works is very high, all of it idiomatic, some of it daring, some audacious, some profound, and none redundant or familiar.

Luciano Berio's Due Pezzi, one of two pieces on the disc in which the violin is joined by a piano, is most remarkable for its fascinating dialogue between the two instruments, in its inflections and mannerisms very near to actual speech. The first of Luigi Dallapiccola's Due Studi is one of the finest examples of how techniques of Schoenbergian serialism can actually produce music of striking lyric beauty and warm color; the second shows the same techniques in their more abrasive and garishly hued form (the composer's bitter commentary on fascist brutality). George Rochberg's monumental Caprice Variations--Makarski plays four of the original 50--is a set of studies on Paganini's famous 24th Caprice that confirms the legitimacy of melding new ideas with old forms. Least interesting to me was the title work by Goffredo Petrassi--too much effect, not enough affect (is there any violinistic trick left unexploited here?).

Makarski is a wonderful violinist who varies her sound significantly depending on the piece, from a vibrato-less tone that never bites into the center of the strings, to one that sings, wails, and penetrates. You'll never be bored listening to this--and you're almost certain to find one or two of these pieces ingratiating and interesting enough for many return visits. This is an exceptional disc, surprisingly accessible and uncompromising in its aim to renew modern connections with the past and to discover the unexpected. [11/22/2000]

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Studies (2) for Violin and Piano by Luigi Dallapiccola
Performer:  Thomas Larcher (Piano), Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946-1947; Italy 
2.
Pieces (2) for Violin and Piano by Luciano Berio
Performer:  Thomas Larcher (Piano), Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; Italy 
3.
Riconoscenza per Goffredo Petrassi by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USA 
4.
Lamento di Tristano by Anonymous
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: Medieval 
Written: after 1300 
5.
Elogio per un'ombra by Goffredo Petrassi
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971 
6.
Sonate piccole (26) for Violin solo: no 7 in A minor - Tema con variazione, Variation 8 by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1745-1770; Italy 
Notes: This selection is performed twice on this CD. 
7.
Sonate piccole (26) for Violin solo: no 7 in A minor by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1745-1770; Italy 
8.
Sonate piccole (26) for Violin solo: no 7 in A minor - Tema con variazione, Variation 13 by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1745-1770; Italy 
9.
Sonate piccole (26) for Violin solo: no 7 in A minor - Tema con variazione, Variation 18 by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1745-1770; Italy 
10.
Sonate piccole (26) for Violin solo: no 7 in A minor - Tema con variazione, Variation 15 by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1745-1770; Italy 
11.
Sonate piccole (26) for Violin solo: no 7 in A minor - Tema con variazione, Variation 14 by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1745-1770; Italy 
12.
Sonate piccole (26) for Violin solo: no 7 in A minor - Tema con variazione, Tema by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1745-1770; Italy 
13.
Caprice Variations (51) for Violin solo "Paganini": no 27, Aria by George Rochberg
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USA 
14.
Caprice Variations (51) for Violin solo "Paganini": no 12, Andante con moto by George Rochberg
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USA 
15.
Caprice Variations (51) for Violin solo "Paganini": no 6, Poco allegretto ma con rubato by George Rochberg
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USA 
16.
Caprice Variations (51) for Violin solo "Paganini": no 37, Barcarolle by George Rochberg
Performer:  Michelle Makarski (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USA 

Sound Samples

Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Adagio
Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Allegro
Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Allegro
Due Studi for Violin and Piano: 1. Sarabanda
Due Studi for Violin and Piano: 2. Fanfare e Fuga
Elogio Per Un'ombra
Due pezzi for Violin and Piano: 1. Calmo
Due pezzi for Violin and Piano: 2. Quasi allegro alla marcia
Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Theme With Variations, Variation 13
Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Theme With Variations, Variation 18
Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Theme With Variations, Variation 15
Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Theme With Variations, Variation 14
Riconoscenza Per Goffredo Petrassi For Solo Violin
Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Theme With Variations, Variation 8
Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Theme With Variations, Variation 8
Sonata No. 7 in A minor: Theme With Variations, Theme
Caprice Variations: No.12 Andante Con Moto
Caprice Variations: No.27 Aria
Caprice Variations: No.6 Poco Allegretto Ma Con Rubato
Caprice Variations: No.37 Barcarolle
Lamento Di Tristano

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