Szymanowski: Violin Sonata in D minor; Myths; Nocturne and Tarantella; Three Paganini Caprices; Romance in D; La berceuse d’Aitacho Enia

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COMPOSERS: Szymanowski
LABELS: ASV Quicksilva
WORKS: Violin Sonata in D minor; Myths; Nocturne and Tarantella; Three Paganini Caprices; Romance in D; La berceuse d’Aitacho Enia
PERFORMER: Detlef Hahn (violin)Mark Fielding (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CD QS 6215
Szymanowski’s Greek-inspired Myths marked a turning point in his career. With the help of the violinist Pavel Kochan´ski, he experimented with an extraordinary range of technical devices and colourings, which offer a foretaste of the vivid musical language he evolved during the Great War.

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Detlev Hahn brings ample technical skill to these spirited performances. He rises cheerfully to Szymanowski’s challenges – slithering harmonics, double-stopping, dazzling glissandi and pizzicati, catching splendidly the watery trilling of the first and the arpeggiated harmonics of the last of the Myths.

In the Romantic early D minor Sonata, Hahn adopts a rather gentle, lyrical approach: this works well initially, but the finale needs a more urgent sense of attack and build-up. The Romance of 1910 (compare the Second Symphony from the same period) likewise invites a gutsier, less laid-back treatment.

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Crucial to mid-period Szymanowski is that sense of other-worldly magic and mystery which Kaja Danczowska and Krystian Zimerman achieve so well (on DG), but which sometimes eludes the present pair. Yet Hahn’s talents serve Szymanowski’s intriguing Paganini transcriptions (including a beautifully languid A major) well; and the eerie Berceuse, which shows a glimpse of the composer’s pared-down approach of the late Twenties, provides a gorgeous conclusion. Roderic Dunnett