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Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole, Sonata, Arlequin, Guitare / Boriso-Glebsky

Lalo / Boriso-glebsky / Collard / Varsovia / Dumay
Release Date: 11/13/2012 
Label:  Fuga Libera   Catalog #: 594  
Composer:  Edouard Lalo
Performer:  Nikita Boriso-GlebskyJean-Philippe Collard
Conductor:  Augustin Dumay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

LALO Symphonie espagnole 1. Sonata 2. Arlequin 2. Guitare 2 Nikita Boriso-Glebsky (vn); 1 Augustin Dumay, cond; Sinfonia Varsovia; 2 Jean-Philippe Collard (pn) FUGA LIBERA 594 (57:01)

Read more /> Fuga Libera’s compilation seems, like an ellipse, to have two foci: the emerging young violinist Nikita Boriso-Glebsky and the music of Édouard Lalo. The program opens with the familiar, the Symphonie espagnole , which perhaps made Lalo’s reputation (and hardly hurt violinist Pablo Sarasate’s). Boriso-Glebsky produces a strong, rich tone from the bold opening of the solo part and plays with a commanding assurance, surmounting stylishly the virtuosic difficulties the movement presents; but somehow the reading may nevertheless seem perfunctory or at least inflexible, in the solo part as well as in the orchestral one, to those familiar with such blockbuster re-creations as Isaac Stern’s, Jascha Heifetz’s, or Zino Francescatti’s. Those same listeners may, then, welcome the injection by the soloist of some Iberian coloration in the Scherzando and even more in the Intermezzo—such moments collectively provide a strong argument for including the movement, which Lalo supposedly added after he’d finished the work, rather than omitting it as older violinists (including Heifetz and Francescatti) used to do. In fact, Boriso-Glebsky’s personality as an interpreter seems to blossom in this movement in piquant rhythms and timbral subtleties that seem largely his own. That same strong personality emerges in the ardent, mellifluous account he gives of the slow movement that follows. He rises above the orchestra here in part because of the placement of the microphones and in part because of his strong-minded though sweet lyricism (as in the movement’s closing passages). His version of the finale sounds as tantalizingly sprightly as if it were an alternative finale for Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Still, if Sarasate’s violinistic persona might be described as quicksilver, there’s a greater heaviness in Boriso-Glebsky’s, although it doesn’t remain earthbound. The recorded sound brings a bracing clarity to the orchestral forces.

The Violin Sonata, op. 12, began what life it’s had, according to Michel Stockhem’s notes, as a Grand duo concertant ; Boriso-Glebsky plays it here in a reverberant venue (Flagey, Studio 1) with pianist Jean-Philippe Collard. Both violinist and pianist seem strongly committed to this early composition, marking Lalo’s engaging dialogue by dramatic contrasts in the first movement. Boriso-Glebsky affects an elegant manner in the theme of the second movement’s variations, a theme that might have been drawn almost directly from one of Robert Schumann’s piano pieces; but he plays with unaffected lyricism throughout the variations, his tone emitting a warm glow in the lower registers. The brief Rondo that brings the sonata to a close sparkles with the duo’s exuberant high spirits channeled by a strong personality. Almost a decade ago, Luigi Alberto Bianchi recorded the sonata and a program of the composer’s short pieces on Dynamic 356, Fanfare 26:5. He takes a more leisurely approach to these works than does Boriso-Glebsky, but he doesn’t always sound more gracious for his greater leisure—still, for those interested primarily in the works for violin and piano, he’s worth hearing. The program concludes with two short pieces, Arlequin and Guitare , both of which emerge so full of character as to be worthy of more than an occasional resuscitation. For its vivid recorded sound and its generally sparkling readings, as well as for the inherent interest in its repertoire, Fuga Libera’s release deserves overall an enthusiastic recommendation.

FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 by Edouard Lalo
Performer:  Nikita Boriso-Glebsky (Violin)
Conductor:  Augustin Dumay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; France 
Sonata for Violin and Piano in D major, Op. 12 by Edouard Lalo
Performer:  Nikita Boriso-Glebsky (Violin), Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; France 
Guitare, Op. 28 by Edouard Lalo
Performer:  Nikita Boriso-Glebsky (Violin), Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1882; France 
Arlequin "Esquisse caractéristique" by Edouard Lalo
Performer:  Nikita Boriso-Glebsky (Violin), Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1848; France 

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