German violinist Ingolf Turban has recorded several well-received albums of obscure virtuoso violin music of the 19th century; an album on the Claves label devoted to the music of Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst is especially recommended. Here Turban tackles solo violin music, and again the conjunction of precision technical equipment (on Turban's part) and lost repertory is attractive. Although there are certainly passages requiring a great deal of speed, the emphasis here is on line in general and on violinistic approximations of polyphony in particular. Paganini's Variations in G major on "Nel cor più non mi sento" open the album, and it is as if the next generation of composers did not even want to try to match him for sheer fireworks. Instead there were pieces like the Andante con variazoni movement of Johannes Kalliwoda's Caprice in G major, Op. 87/3, and vocal paraphrases like "Léon de Saint-Lubin's Fantasie über ein Thema aus Lucia di Lammermoor," both of which are melodically oriented; the Saint-Lubin employs one-man polyphony that exceeds even that in Bach's pieces for solo violin. Turban continues mixing repertory encore pieces by Kreisler, Grieg, and Ruggiero Ricci with nearly lost works such as Joseph Achron's Plaisanterie musicale in G major sur l'air populaire "Oh, du lieber Augustin," Op. 19/2. It's an hour of music for a violin and nothing else, much of it lost and newly unearthed here, and it's far from dull.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
Bravour-Variationen im klassischen Stil über das Thema "Brüder, reicht die Hand zum Bunde" nach W.A. Mozart G-Dur