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Schnittke - Quasi Una Sonata / Kurkowicz, Schepkin


Release Date: 02/27/2001 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9104   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Sergey SchepkinJoanna Kurkowicz
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Schnittke’s violin and piano works are pretty well repertoire pieces by now, and there are several competing versions of all the works here – the most notable by Russian artists such as Gidon Kremer who were friends with the composer and may be presumed to have an authentic and authoritative approach as any. Kurkowicz and Schepkin (both Boston-based, from Poland and Russia respectively) nevertheless turn in a very creditable clutch of performances, and the programme is well conceived, the post-Shostakovichian polystylism of the First Sonata balanced in turn by the giddy bravura of À Paganini, the severe and abrupt gestural style of Quasi una sonata and the elegiac intensity of the memorial piece for Shostakovich. These are testing Read more works, both in terms of their technical demands and – in the case of the sonatas – simply to make their diverse and fragmented structures cogent, and the performers rise effectively to the challenge in a pleasantly natural recording. Kurkowicz’s flamboyant account of À Paganini especially excited my admiration. The disc would make a very useful introduction to Schnittke for any listener just wanting to get to know something about this controversial composer. Inevitably, history is going to weed out quite a lot of Schnittke’s prolific output, but these four pieces will surely stand the test of time.

-- Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2 "Quasi una Sonata" by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Sergey Schepkin (Piano), Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1968/1987; USSR 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  Wellesley Chapel, Massachusetts 
Length: 23 Minutes 50 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Sergey Schepkin (Piano), Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; USSR 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  Wellesley Chapel, Massachusetts 
Length: 18 Minutes 1 Secs. 
3.
A Paganini by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; USSR 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  Wellesley Chapel, Massachusetts 
Length: 13 Minutes 50 Secs. 
4.
Preludium in memoriam D Shostakovich by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Joanna Kurkowicz (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1975; USSR 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  Wellesley Chapel, Massachusetts 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: This performance utilizes a pre-recorded tape. 

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