Brahms, Bridge, Enescu, Franck, Glinka & Tabakova

COMPOSERS: Brahms,Bridge,Enescu,Franck,Glinka & Tabakova
LABELS: Avie
ALBUM TITLE: Maxim Rysanov, Evelyn Chang
WORKS: Works for viola and piano by Brahms, Bridge, Enescu, Franck, Glinka & Tabakova
PERFORMER: Maxim Rysanov (viola), Evelyn Chang (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: AV 2111
Apart from Schumann’s Märchenbilder and the Brahms Sonatas, violists have a pretty raw deal when it comes to finding substantial duo material from the 19th century. So it’s no surprise that they should resort to transcriptions as a means of enhancing their repertoire. In this beautifully recorded recital Rysanov makes out an excellent case for taking up the Franck A major Sonata, his arrangement judiciously steering a middle course between the violin and cello versions, but gaining an extra degree of richness of tone in the upper registers. He performs the work with fervour while finding sufficient time and space for poetic restraint especially in the third movement. Evelyn Chang is an extremely supportive pianist, her fluid interaction with Rysanov in the opening of the Finale being particularly impressive, though

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the two lengthy piano interludes in the first movement could be more impassioned.

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The other items are no less striking. After the sturm und drang of Brahms’s FAE Sonata Scherzo, Rysanov and Chang achieve wonderfully veiled colours in both the Glinka Sonata and Dobrinka Tabakova’s haunting Whispered Lullaby. They are just as compelling at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, Enescu’s Concert Piece and the two Bridge miniatures delivered with suitably full-blooded intensity