Collection: The American Album

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Baker,Copland,Ives,Piston
LABELS: RCA Victor Red Seal
WORKS: Sonatina for Violin and Piano; Violin Sonata; Nocturne; Violin Sonata No. 4 (Children’s Day at the Camp Meeting); Blues
PERFORMER: Anne Akiko Meyers (violin), André-Michel Schub (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 68114 2 DDD

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Both Meyers and Schub enjoy distinguished international careers. Meyers made her debut as a soloist with orchestra when she was seven and has performed to high acclaim with major orchestras and ensembles in the US, Europe and elsewhere.

Schub was once described by Harold Schonberg in the New York Times as ‘pianistically flawless’. But apart from their solo work they are supremely well-fitted to perform together. Their dynamic control is impeccable, and there is plenty of give and take between them. Meyers’s tone is rich and warm, her vibrato sensitively calculated.

She achieves drive and precision in Piston’s outer movements and a singing line in his neo-Baroque Adagio. Copland’s undemonstrative middle movement is convincingly shaped, and she recreates to perfection the sharply pointed rhythms of his final Allegretto, with nimble, controlled pizzicato when required.

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Schub is a perceptive companion. Between them they hold Ives’s patchwork Sonata together, capturing its flavour from its springy start to its culminating revivalist hymn tune, and they are superb in both Baker’s genuine Blues and Copland’s Nocturne, which points in that direction. An excellent programme of American music for violin and piano, delivered with style and commitment. Wadham Sutton