One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
     
  
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term www.musicweb-international.com followed by the search term.
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now
RECORDING OF THE MONTH


A Garland for John McCabe


ABRAHAMSEN Quartets


DIETHELM Symphonies


The best Rite of Spring in Years


BACH Magnificat


Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26


Just enjoy it!


.
La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin


Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive


Cantatas for Soprano

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Karol RATHAUS (1895-1964)
Violin Sonata No.1, Op.14 (1925) [22:00]
Violin Sonata No.2, Op.43 (1937) [24:31]
Suite for violin and piano, Op.27 (1929) [14:24]
Karolina Piątkowska-Nowicka (violin)
Bogumiła Weretka-Bajdor (piano)
rec. July and December 2015, Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music Concert Hall, Gdańsk
DUX 1347 [60:57]

Though Rathaus’s music is becoming slowly better known on disc it seems as if these are the first recordings of the two violin sonatas. The fact that Daniel Frühwirth and Henri Sigfridsson recorded the Suite for violin and piano a number of years ago (AVIE 0009) seems not to have stimulated much curiosity with regard to the companion sonatas, composed at roughly the same time, so it’s good that Dux has resolved this lacuna.

One can infer the kind of stylistic position occupied by the Op.14 sonata via the nature of its first performer, the violinist Stefan Frankel who premiered it with Rathaus in 1926. Frankel was dedicated to promoting new music for the violin and was a fine performer of Kurt Weill. The sonata is expressionist in places with unsettled harmonies reflecting the influence, doubtless, of Schoenberg. Yet its puckishness is also inescapable in the Central Intermezzo where the influence of Debussy is also resonant. With a Rondo finale that explores a sinewy, brittle patina this is a Weimar work that accords transitions and contrasts but makes no insinuating concessions.

By the time he wrote his Second Sonata in 1937 he had been forced to move to London. Unlike the earlier sonata, which was published by Universal Edition, the Op.43 sonata still awaits publication. His mature style here has softened somewhat, with all elements sounding more assimilated than the earlier work in which the Schoenberg-Zemlinksy qualities rubbed shoulders perhaps too fraternally with Gallic impressionism. The music in 1937 is tightly contoured and assertive, full of contrasts and once again formally speaking avoiding a single slow movement, rather embedding slower sections into a contrastive fabric. The powerfully engaged piano writing in the finale goads the violin to ever more intensity. Once again Rathaus’s stylistic openness is never in doubt and receptive hearers will enjoy his vivid and expressive writing.

The Suite is similarly strong on contrast, even craggy contrast, and this performance reminds one, as the Frühwirth perhaps didn’t to such an extent, how influential Ravel must have been on Rathaus – congruent with his absorption of Debussy. The Capriccio third movement sounds strongly in thrall to the slow movement of Ravel’s Violin Sonata.

Karolina Piątkowska-Nowicka has rather a viola-like tone but plays the three works with stylish assurance. Her playing and the studio recording are alike more direct in the Suite. Dux’s studio has a crisp, clean acoustic whereas the Avie has something of a spread to it. That said I rather prefer Frühwirth’s crisper tempo in the Suite’s finale. Bogumiła Weretka-Bajdor throughout is an accomplished partner.

This disc reflects Rathaus’s journey to accommodate tonal and non-tonal elements in his music. With straight-forwardly useful notes, there’s a valuable amount to learn from the performances.

Jonathan Woolf


 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger