Miriam Kramer

Karol Szymanowski: Music for violin & piano

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Who is Karol Szymanowski? Is he the composer of the wildly romantic but still tonal Violin Sonata? Is he the composer of the lyrically impressionistic but no longer quite tonal Mythes? Is he the composer of the archly modernist and weirdly neo-tonal Berceuse d'Aïtacho Enia? In this superlative 2005 disc by violinist Miriam Kramer and pianist Nicholas Durcan, Szymanowski is all these composers and more, and best of all, he's always himself and always convincing. Kramer has a big, passionate tone when it's wanted; a sweet, tender tone when it's needed; and a superb technique all the time. She's amazingly ardent in the Sonata, deeply expressive in the Romance, radiantly colorful in the Mythes, austerely luminous in the Berceuse, palpably sensual in the Notturno and Tarantella, and supremely moving in the concluding transcription of the "Chant de Roxane" from the opera King Roger. Pianist Durcan is as much a partner as an accompanist and he supports Kramer with sympathy and affection. Recorded in Potton Hall in Westleton in Suffolk and produced and engineered by Michael Ponder, this disc will amaze those who know Szymanowski's music -- and confound those who only think they know Szymanowski's music.

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