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GEN 86063
EAN: 4260036250633
Edition: Un!erhört
18.90 €

Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936)  
Sonata B minor (1917)
Andante espressivo
Passacaglia. Allegro moderato
Ottorino Respighi  
Cinque Pezzi
Ottorino Respighi  
Sei Pezzi
Valse caressante

Ottorino Respighi

The Complete Works for Violin and Piano

Vol. 1

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Opera in miniature, Pictures at an Exhibition for violin and piano, French ‘grand salon’ ambience—made in Italy. It is challenging to find the find words descriptive of Ottorino Respighi’s oeuvre recently recorded on Genuin by Ilona Then-Bergh and pianist Michael Schäfer. There can be no doubt as to their wide stylistic range, rich tonal colors calling Richard Strauss and Claude Debussy to mind, and the sheer quality of the works in terms of compositional style. Is it going too far to say the Italian composer was too successful during his lifetime? He has definitely not been given the recognition which a master composer of his standing deserves. After inserting this CD in a player for the first time, listeners will find it hard to believe that this is the inaugural disc of the first complete recording cycle of Respighi’s works for violin. But as luck would have it, you can listen to these first-rate, technically accomplished and musically intuitive musicians over and over again while waiting for the next release in this series...

"The result is breathtaking; one has the feeling that each tiny detail has been most precisely formulated in this emotionally highly-charged music, and is in its proper place." Klassik.com, Online

"Respighi’s Violin Sonata is a significant work and deserves to have a major place in the repertoire. Then-Bergh and Schäfer perform it with disciplined musicianship and integrity and with extraordinary adroitness and power. In the dense and agitated opening Moderato the duo communicate a dramatic and intense reading of high emotional power. They provide a reading of sheer intensity in the emotional anguish and turmoil of the central movement Andante espressivo. I loved the vigorous and immediate playing in the densely concentrated and robust final movement Passacaglia - Allegro moderato ma energico. [...] Composed around 1927 the cycle of Cinque Pezzi are described in the booklet notes as, “… small tone paintings which never stray from a salon atmosphere…” To dismiss these Cinque Pezzi in this way does not do justice to their virtuosic quality and considerable emotional depth. Then-Bergh and Schäfer are serious and intense in the Romanza and vivacious and cheerful in the Aubade. The players are passionate and entrancing in the Madrigale and provide a delicate sense of reticence in the Berceuse. I loved the confidence of Then-Bergh and Schäfer in the Humoresque where there is a positive sense of wanting to show-off. [...]
The set of Sei Pezzi for violin and piano were written around 1922. In these short and colourful scores it seems that Respighi is endeavouring to position each piece in relation to each other as if they were paintings hanging in a gallery. Then-Bergh and Schäfer provide a highly attractive autumnal feel to the Berceuse. They are searching and forlorn in the Melodia and their reading of the Leggenda contains a similar feeling of despondency. I was impressed with their playing in the Valse caressante evocative of dancing to a Viennese café orchestra. While the Serenata is soothing and reflective, in the Aria the players effortlessly adjust to serious and determined playing.
No problems with the dry and clear sound quality with an impressive balance. The concise booklet notes are reasonably interesting without being especially informative. First class playing then and there is something special about Respighi’s sonata here revealed as a score that deserves wider recognition. "
(Michael Cookson, Musikweb-International)