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 10 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 Andreas Buschatz and pianist Tahmina Feinstein not only deliver a technically brilliant performance, but a musically captivating one that truly transports listeners to 10 very distinct environments. The duo continues their exceptional playing in Alfred Schnittke's First Violin Sonata, composed during his 10-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. The 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.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Impressions D'Enfance, Op. 28|
|Sonata, No. 1|
|Sonata for violin and Piano in E flat major, Op. 18|