Paul Juon’s musical education provided him with a direct link to the German Romantic style of Mendelssohn and Schumann, and he has even been called the ‘Russian Brahms.’ These three violin sonatas represent an important artistic statement by this neglected master, also showing his artistic evolution. The First Sonata is reminiscent of Tchaikovsky in its melodic beauty, the Second Sonata enriched with Scandinavian flavor in its mercurial character and chromatic intensity. The masterful and dramatic Third Sonata evokes an epic imagined landscape full of natural and supernatural beings.
These eminently pleasing scores, free of angst and with very little in the way of drama do, howeverRead more require a high degree of accomplishment from both performers, the piano given a role just as demanding as the violin whose scoring is mainly of a lyric quality.
Strangely the First and Second Sonatas are in three movements and substantial in length, while the Third is in one continuous movement and quite short.
The performances are very persuasive. Charles Wetherbee’s warm tonal quality, linked with a fast vibrato, being eminently suited to Juon, while David Korevaar avoids becoming the dominant voice.
Powerful and Sophisticated Music/PerformanceJanuary 25, 2020By Henry S. (Springfield, VA)See All My Reviews"Russian-born, but largely German in his compositional style, Paul Juon was an early 20th century composer who merits serious attention from anyone seeking to discover some authentic chamber music treasures. Naxos has emphasized this assertion in a big way with this superb new recording of Juon's 3 violin sonatas. The CD notes identify potential connections to Tchaikovsky (especially in Sonata #1) and Brahms, and while this is probably valid, nevertheless Juon's musical voice is personal and distinct. Violin Sonata #1 dates from 1898, preceding Sonatas # 2 and #3 by 22 and 32 years, respectively. With regard to these last two, it is a source of wonder how such aesthetically positive and brilliant compositions could have emerged from the great social traumas of post-WW1 Europe. All 3 works are ravishingly sophisticated and instantly appealing, reinforcing the impression one gets of a true master at work. Violinist Charles Wetherbee and pianist David Korevaar due full justice to Juon's magnificent scoring, and Naxos' engineering of this disk is, as usual, exceptional- clean, crisp, clear, balanced sound. In short, this is a disk of great merit. I cannot recommend it highly enough!!"Report Abuse