Paris was unquestionably one of the primary musical melting pots of the early 20th century, drawing in composers, artists, and authors from across the world. This rich artistic environment made an audible impression on many composers while still maintaining their individuality. This Avie album, Echoes of Paris, brings to light four such composers in their works from 1917 through 1936 for violin and piano. From the tragic, almost brutal forcefulness of Poulenc's sonata; the mature, seasoned final sonata of Claude Debussy; and the playful impudence of the Suite from Stravinsky's Suite on Pergolesi Themes (heard here in its less common 1925 version aided by Paul Kochanski), the program ideally demonstrates the influence of the city on the repertoire of the time. Performing are violinist Augustin Hadelich and pianist Robert Kulek. Hadelich is a 2006 gold medal winner at the International Violin Concerto of Indianapolis that yielded him the loan of the magnificent ex-Gingold Stradivari violin on which he plays with a sense of warmth, introspection, and attention to detail far surpassing his young years. His confident technique and powerful sound are dampened by the peculiar recorded sound of the piano, which seems extremely close and dull, resulting in as much superfluous production noise as actual note.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 119|
|Suite after Themes, Fragments and Pieces by Pergolesi|
|Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor, L 140|
|Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano in D major, Op. 94b|