Friedrich Cerha, born in Vienna in 1926, is the doyen of Austrian composers, with a huge catalogue of music to his name. Cerha also trained as a violinist and most of the works in this anthology of his violin pieces were written for himself to play in the 1940s and '50s, when he was still active as a performer. It begins with his first surviving composition, the Hindemith-like First Violin Sonata of 1947; Stravinsky was another early influence before Cerha found the voice that made him Austria's leading avant-garde composer. Two later works, from almost half a century on, complete the stylistic trajectory.
Ernst Kovacic, violin Mathilde Hoursiangou, piano
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 (1954) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0199/TOCC0199t07.mp3
Deux éclats en réflexion for Violin and Piano (1956) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0199/TOCC0199t10.mp3
Sechs Stücke für Violine Solo (1997) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0199/TOCC0199t13.mp3
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Catalogue No: TOCC0199EAN/UPC: 5060113441997Release Date: 30.09.2013Composer: Friedrich Cerha Artists: Ernst Kovacic, Mathilde Hoursiango
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Stephen Pritchard :
“…As you might expect from a man best known for his completion of Alban Berg’s Lulu, Toccata’s release is not always the easiest listening, but it does offer a handy tour of 20th-century compositional methods, encompassing neoclassicism, 12-tone technique and serialism from a career of abundant creativity.” The Guardian
Jonathan Woolf :
“…Both Ernst Kovacic and Mathilde Hoursiangou play close attention to detail and with ferocious dedication. …[Sechs Stücke für Violine Solo:] The set was written for Ernst Kovacic who plays them with splendid devotion, finely attuned to every glissando, every harmonic, every spatial and wave-like effect – and indeed the more inscrutable, reflective moments too. …It’s a powerful portfolio of works that sings with the memories of violinists and composers Cerha has encountered and assimilated into this valuable sheaf of compositions.” MusicWeb International
Robert Maxham :
“…Sonata’s [Violin Sonata no. 1] vigorous first movement perhaps reflects Hindemith’s influence, but coupled, as in the second movement, with a warm humanity that some of Hindemith’s music seemed to lack. …The recorded sound captures Kovacic up close, revealing the smart snap of his bow stroke and the beauty of his tone. He makes this Sonata sound like both well crafted music for the violin and violin music; and his performance should set many violinists on a search for the sheet music. …[Capriccio:] It’s once again a most attractive violin piece, and it receives a jaunty, stylish performance from the duo. …[Six Pieces for Solo Violin] stands in the line of the unaccompanied pieces of Bach, Eugène Ysaÿe, and Hindemith. …For those who wish to explore a cross-section of the violin music of what appears to be one of the most commanding voices among recent composers, not to mention violinist-composers, Toccata’s collection, with its brilliant and, seemingly, authoritative performances and lively recorded sound, should be a natural choice. In every way, it’s another winner from Toccata that can be very warmly recommended.” Fanfare
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