Orsolya Korcsolán / Judit Kertész


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The violin has long been a favored instrument for composers of Jewish music, perhaps because of its unique capacity to capture the essence of Hebrew melodies with its piercing, emotive abilities. Violin albums devoted to Jewish composers (or non-Jewish composers who tried their hand at Hebrew melodies) are not uncommon; ones of his quality are. Solo Musica presents violinist Orsolya Korcsolán and pianist Judit Kertész in a captivating program that primarily has works of little-known, infrequently performed composers. The popular Baal Shem Suite of Ernest Bloch makes an appearance, as does Ravel's (the only non-Jewish composer on the disc) Kaddish. The remainder of the album draws from composers active mostly in the first half of the 20th century. Rather than presenting a random smattering of works by various composers, the flow of pieces on this disc really makes sense with one flowing logically and smoothly to the next. Tying all of this together is the exceptionally vivid, highly stylized but dignified playing of Korcsolán and the sensitive, organic accompaniment of Kertész. Korcsolán's playing is not only technically precise but musically provocative. Her accentuation of characteristic augmented seconds, stunning but reserved use of glissando, and mesmerizingly beautiful sound make for an album worthwhile for any collection.

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