60179 - Enescu, Schnittke, Strauss

ENESCU; SCHNITTKE; STRAUSS: Werke für Violine und Klavier (Works for Violin and Piano)

Performance 4.5 stars
Sound 4.5 stars
All Music, January 2010

Although the liner notes of this NCA album refer to George Enescu's Op. 28 "Impressions d'Enfance" as a component of every accomplished violinist's repertoire, the piece -- like too many other Enescu works -- is often absent from concert stages and album programs. The ten short windows into childhood experience demonstrate Enescu's natural ability to successfully portray extramusical events with wonderfully brief gestures while at the same time challenging performers to relay these highly varied experiences to audiences. Violinist Adnreas Buschatz and pianist Tahmina Feinstein not only deliver a technically brilliant performance, but a musically captivating one that truly transports their listeners to ten very distinct environments. The duo continues their exceptional playing in Alfred Schnittke's First Violin Sonata, composed during his ten-year stint as an instructor at the Moscow Conservatory. Like the Enescu, Schnittke's Sonata posses a great many contrasting sections and styles that are skillfully delivered by Buschatz and Feinstein. Their program ends with the Strauss Violin Sonata, a very early work in the composer's output with more distinctly Romantic gestures that makes it somewhat of an odd match with the preceding two works. Throughout the disc, Buschatz and Feinstein present a robust, powerful sound that is well-balanced to a T. NCA's recorded sound is clear and spacious, and the SACD track captures all of the many nuances Buschatz and Feinstein offer to their listeners.

All Music 01.01.2010