Ettore Causa / Ulrich Staerk

Ettore Causa Plays Romantic Transcriptions for viola and piano

(CD - Claves #502609)

Review by

So you're not a violist and maybe not a huge fan of transcriptions, and you want to know why you should buy this album devoted to Romantic transcriptions for the viola? Because regardless of what instrument he holds in his hands, Ettore Causa is simply a magnificent, consummate musician. A student of Yehudi Menuhin and Michael Tree, Causa does with the viola what few have even come close to achieving. His sound is incredibly powerful, with nary a hint that he has any difficulty rising above the piano. The lower registers of his instrument are what might be expected of a viola -- deep, rich, and resonate. It is in the upper registers, and the evenness between high and low, that Causa really distinguishes himself from other viola soloists. High notes never sound nasal or forced and are equally beautifully as the viola's traditional alto realm. Coupled with his singular sound-producing abilities are Causa's equally impressive musical expressiveness, rhythmic vitality, and feverishly intense approach to all of works on this album. The 18 transcriptions featured on the CD, many of which were completed by Causa himself, all work surprisingly well on the viola and smash through many of the negative stereotypes commonly associated with the instrument. This disc is a must-have for anyone, both for its exceptional viola playing and its superlative musicianship in general.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 01:48 Amazon
2 05:05 Amazon
Spanish Dances (12), in 4 volumes for piano, Op. 37, H. 142, DLR 1:2
3 02:38 Amazon
4 04:33 Amazon
5 03:37 Amazon
6 02:03 Amazon
Romeo and Juliet, ballet in 4 acts, Op. 64
7 05:30 Amazon
8 02:06 Amazon
9 02:27 Amazon
10 02:35 Amazon
Hungarian Dances (21) for piano, 4 hands (or piano solo), WoO 1
11 03:02 Amazon
Pieces for Children Big and Small (12), for piano, 4 hands, Op. 85
12 02:33 Amazon
13 02:47 Amazon
14 02:48 Amazon
Hungarian Dances (21) for piano, 4 hands (or piano solo), WoO 1
15 02:23 Amazon
16 03:26 Amazon
17 04:00 Amazon
18 03:53 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick