Notes and Editorial Reviews
Violin Sonata No. 3.
Violin Sonata in e
Svetlin Roussev (vn); Frédéric D’Oria-Nicolas (pn)
FONDAMENTA 902002 (65:14)
The first thing that strikes the ear with this CD is the dark, viola-like timbre of Roussev’s violin. No shrinking violet, he, but a player of smoldering intensity. I was just a bit put off by his overuse of vibrato, but only in certain spots. For the most part, Roussev’s playing is well controlled and
visceral in the best sense of the word. Moreover, he seems to find more intensity in the Grieg than I can recall hearing in others’ performances. Perhaps it is his specific musical bias, but he almost makes this sonata sound Russian. And French pianist D’Oria-Nicolas also plays in a very
Russian sort of way, with powerful, deep-in-the-keys attacks. I promise that you’ll never hear more intense Grieg in your life!
In the music of Medtner, one expects as much from the players, and again Roussev delivers a strong, emotional performance rife with nuance and deep feeling. If I have a preference for this work over the Grieg, it is because to my mind Medtner was the greater composer. His writing for the piano, in particular, was greatly admired by Sorabji, and you can hear his tremendous imagination and greater amount of detail in this score. A wonderful piece, this, boldly played yet again, not lacking nuance. Comparing this to the “reference” recording (for many listeners) of this work by violinist Vadim Repin (Warner Classics), I heard much the same intensity but found Roussev’s playing much darker in tone and just as deeply involved. Repin, however, was a bit more straightforward in the second-movement scherzo. Here, Roussev injected a few rubato touches that made it, for me, even more effective.
I was absolutely mesmerized by this disc. What a treat to discover such marvelous musicians!
FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Works on This Recording
Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45: I. Allegro molto ed appassionato
Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45: II. Allegretto espressivo alla romanza
Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45: III. Allegro animato
Violin Sonata No. 3 in E minor, Op. 57, "Epica": I. Introduzione: Andante meditamente - Allegro
Violin Sonata No. 3 in E minor, Op. 57, "Epica": II. Scherzo: Allegro molto vivace e laggiero
Violin Sonata No. 3 in E minor, Op. 57, "Epica": III. Andante con moto
Violin Sonata No. 3 in E minor, Op. 57, "Epica": IV. Finale: Allegro molto
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