Tchaikovsky: Complete works for violin & piano

Sasha Rozhdestvensky

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Tchaikovsky: Complete works for violin & piano Review

by Mike D. Brownell

Tchaikovsky's penchant to write luxurious, soulful melodies is perhaps nowhere more evident than in his writing for the violin. His access to some of the finest violinists to ever emerge from Russia -- Leopold Auer and Adolph Brodsky -- certainly provided him with the inspiration and performance abilities necessary to develop his special relationship with the instrument. This Delos album highlights the complete works Tchaikovsky penned for violin and piano duo. It also includes the world-premiere recording of Oh! Chante Encore!, one of the composer's own transcriptions of his Op. 16 Six Songs that was long considered lost. Performing these rich, deeply Romantic works is violinist Sasha Rozhdestvensky joined by pianist Josiane Marfurt. Rozhdestvensky's playing is ideally suited for much of the music on this program. He excels at producing a velvety, sensual sound quality low in his instrument's register, and has a magnificently well-connected legato sound. When Tchaikovsky calls for playing higher on the violin's E string, Rozhdestvensky's sound occasionally becomes forced and strained, not achieving the same warmth as lower on his instrument. In sections where more detached, nimble playing is called for in place of long, spun melodies, Rozhdestvensky becomes more harsh and abrasive in his attack than would seem to be necessary.

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