Notes and Editorial Reviews
Macomber and Walsh give Amy Beach's lush sonata the full heart-on-sleeve romantic treatment, as befits the music; so did the Pontremoli sisters on a Centaur disc (Fanfare 16:1). Macomber sings out more freely in the sweeping main theme of the opening Allegro moderato, where the Pontremoli violin was almost buried by the Pontremoli piano. The Koch performers also have a more delicate touch in the Scherzo, and they play as well together as the Pontremolis, who have performed as a team since childhood. My preference for the Macomber/Walsh performance is enhanced by Koch's intimate recording, made in the superb acoustic environment of the SUNY Purchase Recital Hall. Macomber uses a good deal of vibrato, and the atmospheric recording also
captures a bit of an edge in the upper range of his instrument. My standard for this work remains the cooler, less overtly romantic playing of Joseph Silverstein and Gilbert Kalish on a New World LP, but that analog recording is a bit dry and grainy.
Macomber and Walsh are even more impressive in John Corigliano's 1963 sonata; this is the finest performance of it I have heard. Macomber has the music under better control than Fredell Lack on a Bay Cities disc, and a vibrant performance by Eugene Fodor overwhelms his accompanist on a Laurel recording. The two minor Beach pieces are at least appropriate fillers for this disc. We are used to seeing pictures of Mrs. Beach as an old lady; this booklet includes a welcome photo of her as a young woman, when she wrote most of her memorable music, including the violin sonata.
-- James H. North, FANFARE [7/1995] Read less
Works on This Recording
Sonata for Violin and Piano by John Corigliano
Diane Walsh (Piano),
Curtis Macomber (Violin)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1963; USA
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