Delius: Complete Violin Sonatas

Susanne Stanzeleit

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Delius: Complete Violin Sonatas Review

by James Leonard

Not even the composer's most fervent admirers would say that Delius was at his best in his violin sonatas. Without an orchestra's warm colors and lush textures, his music is missing two of its strongest selling points. On the other hand, being forced to rely almost exclusively on his gift for passionate melodies and rich harmonies brings out a more focused side of the composer, which may well be nearly as appealing to his admirers as his better known orchestral music. Violinist Susanne Stanzeleit and pianist Gusztav Fenyo do an outstanding job performing Delius' four violin sonatas. In the three published sonatas, their combination of sheer physical beauty and intense expressivity matches the works perfectly, and their enthusiasm makes a convincing case for the thoroughly conventional and early unpublished sonata. Although Naxos' digital sound is a bit thin in places, this disc will be well worth hearing by Delius' fans.

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