Collection: Souvenir

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Szymanowski & Rachmaninov,Tchaikovsky,Wieniawski
LABELS: Philips
WORKS: Works by Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski, Szymanowski & Rachmaninov
PERFORMER: Akiko Suwanai (violin), Phillip Moll (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 454 480-2


This is a cleverly varied recital, for although the accent is placed upon showing off the amazing technique of the Japanese player Akiko Suwanai, first prizewinner in the Tchaikovsky Competition back in 1990, it also contains enough of substance to show a real musician at work. Suwanai produces a beautiful sound even while she is under the severest pressure – and no pressure for a violinist is greater than in the three outrageously testing pieces by Wieniawski which she plays (Souvenirs de Moscou, Scherzo-Tarantelle and the Variations, Op. 15). She also gives a deeply involved reading of Myths, those hauntingly evocative miniature tone poems by Szymanowski.


Rachmaninov’s two Morceaux de salon, Op. 6, delivered in turn with irresistible rapture and with a rather spiky kind of brilliance, are separated by the version for violin and piano of the same composer’s Vocalise, which is beguilingly and exquisitely done. The three pieces of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir d’un lieu cher show a violinist who is happy to wear her heart on her sleeve, and for all the slickness of delivery one feels that the emotions she conveys are felt, not learnt. The pianist Phillip Moll is, as usual, first rate. Stephen Pettitt