Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio

Going Solo

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With such an abundance of repertoire for the solo violin, it's a curiosity why violinists seem to focus on such a narrow swath of these pieces. On her MSR Classics album, Going Solo, Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio explores some of the lesser-known repertoire not only for solo violin, but solo viola as well. Her program ranges from the early Fantasia No. 7 of Telemann to the world-premiere recording of James Winn's 2008 Pibroch for solo violin. Sant'Ambrogio's is typically straightforward and no-nonsense. There are times when a little bit more emotional liberty might be desired. How about a bit more ferocity in the second movement of Porter's Suite for viola alone? Or a bit of sensuality in the Sarabande of Ysaÿe's Op. 27/4 Sonata for solo violin? Missed opportunities such as these result in a performance that's relatively successful from a purely technical standpoint, but a bit lackluster musically. MSR's recorded sound is exceptionally dry and close, making it difficult for Sant'Ambrogio to produce long, smoothly connected lines; it also picks up on every tiny little production noise. As a result of this recorded sound quality, Sant'Ambrogio's violin doesn't have as much of a developed, warm sound as might be hoped for. Her viola fares better, producing a richer, more resonant tone.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Fantasia No. 7 in E flat major for solo violin
1 2:06
2 3:15
3 2:20
4 1:12
5 3:35
Sonata for solo violin, Op. 27/4
6 5:45
7 3:53
8 3:40
Recitativo & Scherzo Caprice for solo violin, Op. 6
9 2:48
10 2:14
11 4:45
12 5:32
Sonata for solo violin
13 1:49
14 5:19
15 2:23
16 2:52
Suite for viola alone
17 1:39
18 2:00
19 2:06
20 1:17
Tango Etudes for solo violin
21 3:46
22 2:10
23 3:40
blue highlight denotes track pick