Luca Sanzò / Maurizio Paciariello

Hindemith: Sonatas for Viola and Piano; Kleine Sonata for Viola d'Amore

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Over the decades, Paul Hindemith's music has gone in and out of fashion, but his reputation has endured largely because of the series of sonatas he composed for various instruments and piano, which have become mainstays of the recital repertoire. Perhaps the most personally significant were the three sonatas he composed for his own instrument, the viola, and the Kleine Sonata for viola d'amore, which are played by Luca Sanzò on this 2014 release from Brilliant Classics. Accompanied by Maurizio Paciariello, Sanzò gives these sonatas a polished presentation, though his playing is a bit more passionate and intense than one expects in works that have a rather narrow expressive range and seem rather cerebral in content. Sanzò's approach is most workable in the Sonata, Op. 11/4, which dates from 1919 and shows a Brahmsian sensibility in its broad gestures and richly textured harmonies. However, the later sonatas from 1922 onward are less obviously lyrical and expansive, influenced as they were by the "Back to Bach" movement of the 1920s. Yet despite the tighter contrapuntal textures and abstract lines in the Kleine Sonata, the Sonata, Op. 25/4, and the Sonata in F major of 1939, Sanzò still lends them a greater immediacy of feeling than they usually receive. To close, Sanzò and Paciariello play Hindemith's transcription of the Meditation from Noblissima visione, which he often performed as an encore in his own viola recitals.

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