Though he is most often remembered for orchestrating Liszt's tone poems, Swiss composer Joachim Raff's own compositions are nevertheless quite interesting with much to recommend them. The Fourth Grand Sonata subtitled "Chormatische Sonate in einem Satze" lives up to its title by being intensely chromatic and in one thematically unified movement, lasting better than a quarter hour. The Fifth Grand Sonata is a big-boned, four-movement work lasting nearly half an hour with romantic themes, muscular developments, and powerful climaxes. The Sonatillen, originally a set of classical pasticcios for piano solo later adopted by the composer for violin and piano, is a charming little suite in five movements lasting less than 20 minutes. As in the three previous discs in this series, violinist Ingolf Turban and pianist Jascha Nemtsov give their best to the music, flying through the Fifth Sonata's Presto, soaring in the Sonatillen's Larghetto, and wailing all the way through the Fourth Sonata's passionate chromaticism. CPO's sound is cool and dry, but clear and detailed, and those deeply interested in nineteenth century European art music may enjoy this disc.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Sonatillen, version for violin & piano, Op. 99|
|Grand Sonata for violin & piano No. 5, Op. 145|