No, this is not your typical violin and piano recital disc. At first hearing it conjured memories (seen on television) of Jascha Heifetz performing his unique selection of virtuosic and popular short works for violin and piano. The spirit here is essentially the same but the choice of repertoire distinguishes this recording. Its name “Treasures from home”. Here they present a very personal selection of music from their Russian and Romanian backgrounds much as Heifetz chose his repertoire.
There are 13 tracks by 13 composers and I seriously doubt you will duplicate anything you may have currently in your collection. This album is, in a way, an updating of one of those Heifetz recitals in spirit. Here the focus is on music mostly from the ancestral lands of the performers which includes Russia, Romania, and related regions. However it is important to view these choices as musical interests, not a nationalist statements.
Mention needs to be made of the intelligent choices made. We get and Ave Maria but not Schubert’s or Bach/Gounod, we get one by Astor Piazzola. The too seldom heard Meditation from Thais gets a gorgeous reading. The Fritz Kreisler piece speaks to a violinist perhaps a half generation older than Heifetz whose tradition inspired Heifetz. All in all a thoughtful but ultimately enjoyable selection. This is virtually a calling card for some musicians who are worth watching.
My only complaint here is, perhaps, a minor one. There are few notes and nothing on the background of any of the composers. Rather than try to correct this I will simply provide a list of the compositions recorded. They do stand well on their own as compositions but listeners like your reviewer here thirst for more. Anyway here is the list:
Jo Knümann: Rumanisch
Bela Kovacs: Sholom Alekhem Rov Friedman
John Williams: Schindler’s List Theme
Isidore Burdin/F. Dobrinescu: Hora Primaverii
Grigoras Dinicu: Hora Martisorului
Jules Massenet: Meditation from Thais
Matthew Jackfert: Hootenanny
Grigoras Dinicu: Ciocarlia
Antonio Bazzini: The Dance of the Goblins
Astor Piazzola: Ave Maria
Fritz Kreisler: Miniature Viennese March
Myroslav Skoric: Melodya
Vittorio Monti: Csardas
Williams, Kreisler, Massenet, and Piazzola are familiar names to this writer. The rest I shall leave to the curious listener to learn more. The end result, though, is a thoroughly enjoyable recital played with love and passion. It would be a nice addition to any collection of violin and piano chamber music.
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