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Vengerov Plays Bach, Shchedrin, Ysa˙e


Release Date: 11/05/2002 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 57384   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Eugčne Ysa˙eRodion ShchedrinJohann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Virtuosity is the name of the game for this solo recital recording by Maxim Vengerov. Here, virtuosity reigns in both substance--incredibly demanding compositions that would challenge any player--and style: Vengerov's huge, lush sound is matched by a technique second to none. But the other overarching theme is Bach and his indelible influence on the solo violin repertoire: Bach directly inspired both the Ysaÿe and Shchedrin sonatas, and his shadow looms large over the whole album.


Three of Eugène Ysaÿe's devilishly difficult solo sonatas are the main course in this feast. Each sonata is dedicated to one of the leading violinists of the composer's day. No. 2 was
Read more written for Jacques Thibaud and quotes heavily from Bach's E major Partita; the impassioned single-movement Third Sonata, titled "Ballade", was dedicated to Georges Enescu; the lilting and charming No. 4 was written for Kreisler; and the Sonata No. 6, which features a sensuous habanera in its middle portion, was written for Manuel Quiroga. As you might expect, Vengerov moves through these pieces with suavity and astounding ease.


For many listeners the newly composed Shchedrin Echo Sonata (and the same composer's Balalaika bonbon) will be the unknown quantity. Not surprisingly, Shchedrin puts the violinist through his paces in Echo's showy displays of technique, which calls for mastery of just about every standard bowing and left-hand skill within its 15-and-a-half-minute confine. But there's a dark mood at work in this sonata: a relentless, almost aggressive spirit dominates, with narrow spears of light penetrating through from time to time.


Balalaika is an old-fashioned, extravagant lollipop, but it winks at the audience, too. As the plucked instrument of the title might suggest, it's played entirely pizzicato. (Think Kreisler via a Red Army Chorus extravaganza, and you'll get the idea.) Unlike the rest of this studio-made album, Balalaika was recorded live at a Barbican Hall recital, and so we hear the accompanying chuckles and applause from the audience.


Bach himself appears only once on this program, in the form of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor (originally for organ). The piece is thought perhaps to be an adaptation of an A minor sonata for violin. You might expect to have heard one of the actual solo sonatas or partitas instead, but the word on the street is that Vengerov will be presenting the complete set in concert in the not-too-distant future (and we can only hope that a recording would not be far behind). So this Vengerov Bach, in all its playing-with-abandon glory, is a tantalizing taste of what may lie ahead. The sound is full and vibrant.
--Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonatas (6) for Violin solo, Op. 27: no 2 in A minor by Eugčne Ysa˙e
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1924; Belgium 
Date of Recording: 05/2002 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2.
Sonatas (6) for Violin solo, Op. 27: no 3 in D minor "Ballade" by Eugčne Ysa˙e
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1924; Belgium 
Date of Recording: 05/2002 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 21 Secs. 
3.
Sonatas (6) for Violin solo, Op. 27: no 4 in E minor by Eugčne Ysa˙e
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1924; Belgium 
Date of Recording: 05/2002 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 12 Minutes 6 Secs. 
4.
Sonatas (6) for Violin solo, Op. 27: no 6 in E major by Eugčne Ysa˙e
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1924; Belgium 
Date of Recording: 05/2002 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 0 Secs. 
5.
Echo Sonata for Violin solo, Op. 69 by Rodion Shchedrin
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USSR 
Date of Recording: 05/2002 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 15 Minutes 26 Secs. 
6.
Balalaika, Op. 100 by Rodion Shchedrin
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USSR 
Date of Recording: 05/24/2000 
Venue:  Live  Barbican Hall, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
7.
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1708; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/2002 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Bruce Fox-Lefriche 

Sound Samples

Sonates pour Violon Seul Op.27 : Sonate No.2: Obsession - Prélude. Poco Vivace
Sonates pour Violon Seul Op.27 : Sonate No.2: Malinconia - Poco Lento (con Sordino)
Sonates pour Violon Seul Op.27 : Sonate No.2: Danse des Ombres - Sarabande (lento)
Sonates pour Violon Seul Op.27 : Sonate No.2: Les Furies - Allegro Furioso
Sonates pour Violon Seul Op.27:Sonate No.3 - Ballade
Sonates pour Violon Seul Op.27 : Sonate No.4: Allemanda - Lento maestoso
Sonates pour Violon Seul Op.27 : Sonate No.4: Sarabande - Quasi lento
Sonates pour Violon Seul Op.27 : Sonate No.4: Finale - Presto ma non troppo
Sonates pour Violon Seul Op.27 : Sonate No.6
Echo-Sonate
Sonata for solo violin BWV 565 (attriibuted to Bach)
Balalaika

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