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American Viola Works - Rochberg, Jacobi, Shulman, Et Al


Release Date: 09/19/2000 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 53   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George RochbergFrederick JacobiAlan ShulmanQuincy Porter,   ... 
Performer:  Cathy BasrakRobert KoenigWilliam Koehler
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


It's entirely possible that Cathy Basrak's name is unfamiliar; after all, there are very few violists from any age who have reached any plausible level of stardom (and I'm not even going to begin repeating any one of the vast number of viola jokes that make the rounds). In this instance, the ignominy of Basrak's fine instrument is completely baseless. She possesses a luminous, rounded tone and she is nimble and responsive in even the most technically trying passages. We're told that, having won numerous competitions and having performed as a soloist with Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, among other orchestras, the 24-year-old Basrak currently holds the assistant principal chair in the BSO. I'm
Read more positive that a bright future awaits her, judging solely by the merits of this recording.

Aside from her considerable technical prowess, Basrak has thoughtfully assembled an intriguing and decidedly eclectic program. There is a trio of works from the 1940s to consider: Frederick Jacobi's muscular Fantasy for Viola and Piano; Alan Shulman's Theme and Variations, something of a standard in the scanty viola repertoire; and Quincy Porter's Speed Etude, an exhilarating ride for the soloist, dappled by radiant piano accompaniment. Two works from much later dates round out the disc. George Rochberg's 1979 sonata features a strikingly dark and moody Adagio lamentoso, and Lowell Liebermann's vividly colored sonata from 1984 is a recording premiere. The sound is rich and full, with excellent balance between Basrak and her two pianists, William Koehler (who appears on the Jacobi and Liebermann) and Robert Koenig (featured on every other work). [12/26/2001]
--Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Viola and Piano by George Rochberg
Performer:  Cathy Basrak (Viola), Robert Koenig (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2000 
Length: 20 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2.
Fantasy for Viola and Piano by Frederick Jacobi
Performer:  Cathy Basrak (Viola), William Koehler (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2000 
Length: 9 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Theme and Variations for Viola and Piano by Alan Shulman
Performer:  Cathy Basrak (Viola), Robert Koenig (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2000 
Length: 14 Minutes 2 Secs. 
4.
Speed Etude by Quincy Porter
Performer:  Cathy Basrak (Viola), Robert Koenig (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2000 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
5.
Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 13 by Lowell Liebermann
Performer:  William Koehler (Piano), Cathy Basrak (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2000 
Length: 25 Minutes 23 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Viola Sonata: I. Allegro moderato
Viola Sonata: II. Adagio Lamentoso
Viola Sonata: III. Fantasia: Epilogue
Fantasy for Viola and Piano
Theme and Variations
Speed Etude
Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 13: I. Allegro Moderato
Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 13: II. Andante
Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 13: III. Recitativo

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