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Bach, Beethoven, Strauss, Waxman: Works For Violin & Piano / Seybold, Chernyavska

Beethoven / Bach / Strauss / Seybold / Chernyavska
Release Date: 04/27/2010 
Label:  Genuin Classics   Catalog #: 10171   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard StraussFranz WaxmanLudwig van BeethovenJohann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Milana ChernyavskaChristoph Seybold
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

WORKS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO Christoph Seybold (vn); Milana Chernyavska (pn) GENUIN 10171 (74:39)

BEETHOVEN Violin Sonata No. 8. BACH Solo Violin Sonata No. 1. STRAUSS Violin Sonata. WAXMAN Carmen Fantasy

Christoph Seybold and Milana Chernyavska recorded their recital Read more in July (Beethoven, Strauss, and Waxman) and August, 2004 (Bach), with Seybold playing the 1725 da Vinci Stradivari. The vivid recorded sound creates a lifelike portrait of both instruments without capturing extraneous noise.

Seybold and Chernyavska seem assured and tonally resplendent in the first movement of Beethoven’s sonata, but they possess the tonal resources as well for a glowing performance of the slow movement and a sweeping, and, at times, unusually witty, one of the finale; while projecting the maturity of Milstein (who recorded it twice with Artur Balsam), they also exude a refreshing youthful energy.

The engineers reproduce a greater amount of edge in Seybold’s tone in Bach’s solo sonata—it sounds at least reedy. If not, then, timbrally so attractive as his performance of Beethoven’s sonata, his reading of Bach nevertheless demonstrates his keen sense of the effect of his violin, which he allows to resonate after chords. Seybold makes the Adagio to roll out majestically, while in the Fuga he plays with the strength and authority—if not with the immediately identifiable personality—of Nathan Milstein’s later set. In the Siciliana, he creates a well-characterized dialogue between the upper and lower voices, while the finale crackles with an uncommon wealth of rhythmic subtleties; the moto perpetuo sounds energetically straightforward rather than fussy.

Milana Chernyavska returns, as does the attractive recorded sound that graced the duo’s performance of Beethoven’s sonata, for Strauss’s. Seybold incorporates expressive slides into his opening argument and demonstrates from the outset an affinity for Strauss’s style. The sonata requires a violinist to make a grand statement without the mental reservation that some violinists make when expounding on works written in the grand style. Heifetz championed the work, making three recordings of it (with Sandor in 1934 and with Smith in 1954 and 1972). But Seybold’s boldness in Beethoven gives only the faintest hint of how forcefully he would make his case for Strauss, not only in deploying expressive devices but in drawing upon tonal and musical reserves of power to expand its concerto-like sumptuousness. The duo balances tempest and moments of relative relaxation in the second movement—imparting throughout an exceptional tonal sheen (Seybold) and an exceptionally full and nuanced spectrum of articulation (Chernyavska). Their reading of the finale relieves its strongest assertions with moments of skittish playfulness and affecting ardor.

Russian violinists seem to have taken a shine to Franz Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy , preferring it over Sarasate’s warhorse embellishing the same general materials. Seybold gives it a performance in which technical display doesn’t overwhelm plaintive expression. As throughout the recital, Seybold produces a glowing tone in the lower registers, but the fireworks in the upper ones have a compensating brilliance, even if not every rocket explodes with the power of Stern’s or Heifetz’s or Kogan’s.

It would be hard to find in any of the works the center of the recital’s gravity, with so penetrating an intelligence does the duo approach each of the works. With its attractive recorded sound and its insightful, idiomatic, and compelling performances, Seybold and Chernyavska’s recital deserves to be very strongly recommended.

FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Violin and Piano in E flat major, Op. 18 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Milana Chernyavska (Piano), Christoph Seybold (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2004 
Venue:  Reitstadl, Neumarkt / Oberpfalz, Germany 
Length: 28 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Carmen Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra by Franz Waxman
Performer:  Milana Chernyavska (Piano), Christoph Seybold (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946 
Date of Recording: 07/2004 
Venue:  Reitstadl, Neumarkt / Oberpfalz, Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 8 in G major, Op. 30 no 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Milana Chernyavska (Piano), Christoph Seybold (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/2004 
Venue:  Reitstadl, Neumarkt / Oberpfalz, Germany 
Length: 17 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Sonata for Violin solo no 1 in G minor, BWV 1001 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Milana Chernyavska (Piano), Christoph Seybold (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2004 
Venue:  Dreifaltigkeitskirche, Kirchwehren, Germ 
Length: 16 Minutes 30 Secs. 

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