If it was possible to look up a particular sound quality in the dictionary, it is likely that violinist Maxim Fedotov would be included in the definition for "archetypal Russian sound." His vibrato is extremely wide and ubiquitous; his right arm is generally quite heavy resulting in a sound quality that is frequently forced, and his left hand is quite fond of glissandos. For a time, this sound can be appealing, even seductive, and many magnificent Russian artists have used this color to their distinct advantage, but only when it is used as part of a varied and diversified palate of sound. But by the time listeners reach the end of this 65-minute album, they will likely have tired of it long ago because it sadly seems that this is the one and only sound quality that Fedotov is capable of producing and what for a time appears as provocative quickly seems sappy. The transcriptions of the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and movements from the Nutcracker are generally successful, although highly unlikely to eclipse the orchestral versions. Intonation suffers curiously during these transcriptions, a problem that was not evident in the works originally composed for violin and piano. Overall, this album is just too much of the same thing, all a little overdone.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Souvenir d'un lieu cher, for violin & piano (or orchestra), Op. 42|
|Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71|