Busoni: Violin Sonata No. 1; Violin Sonata No. 2; Bagatelles

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WORKS: Violin Sonata No. 1; Violin Sonata No. 2; Bagatelles
PERFORMER: Per Enoksson (violin) Kathryn Stott (piano)
This disc charts Busoni’s hunt for a personal style, and therein lies its intrinsic interest. Enoksson has an almost succulent tone, which pervades and melts everything. Sonata No. 1, dating from c1890, shows us the young Busoni in Brahmsian vein: heroic at the start, beautifully dark and brooding in the sostenuto slow movement. Sonata No. 2 treats its opening Adagio and Presto virtually as a preamble to a set of characteristically Busonian Bach-founded, large-scale variations. It’s all admirably done, even if the composer is only just emerging from embryo. The real hero is Stott, who masters the changes of mood better and pulls off the lion’s share of the work with zest, poise and insight. Enoksson comes into his own in some charmingly poised lightweight bagatelles; a warm acoustic works wonders. Roderic Dunnett