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Violin Sonata Piano Trio New


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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Road Not Taken Dec 28 2011
By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The young Leonard Bernstein wrote these featured chamber compositions between 1937 and 1942. Musical theatre, symphonic works, and conducting the greatest orchestras were still below the horizon. Violinist Terweilger transcribed the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano for his instrument, with pianist Andrew Coopoerstock, and the music sings of mid 20th-century America. It is marked by a gentility of tone, some jazzy rhythmic phrasing, and hints already of the forthcoming Broadway Bernstein. The earlier composed Sonata for Violin and Piano, a student piece while at Harvard, is more traditionally classical in structure, with six variations of the first movement's theme; I find it dark in spirit. Indeed, Bernstein much later adapted a section for his Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety. The third selection of the album goes even earlier to the 19-year-old's piano trio, performed with the addition of cellist Charles Bernard. The 16-minute composition is full of energy and a variety of styles in development, from Baroque licks to an amusing pizzicato march [I had an image of Elmer Fudd trying to sneak upon Bugs Bunny], to a third movement largo in which the cello launches an accelerating rhythmic dance. The remaining tracks are arrangements of theatre pieces from Peter Pan and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, sung, appropriately, by Broadway actor Marin Mazzie, and four sections from Candide, arranged by Eric Stern for violin and piano. Here is the more familiar Bernstein, yet his early chamber pieces now in context appear as part of a continuum. All the musicians on the album perform exceptionally well and the album is beautifully engineered.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Superb Performances of Bernstein's Chamber Music Jan. 26 2011
By Clif - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This wonderful new album starts off with committed and idiomatic performances of three early chamber works by Bernstein by the piano and violin duo Opus Two. The first is Bernstein's Clarinet Sonata arranged for violin and piano. Written between 1941 and 1942, the Clarinet Sonata is the best known of Bernstein's chamber works. It is an appealing mixture of lyrical melodies, jazz-inflected syncopations, and more than a slight dash of the influence of Bernstein's unofficial mentor Aaron Copland. Next comes the Violin Sonata (1939), a Hindemith-infused work that nonetheless frequently exhibits Lennie's trademark lyricism, particularly in the gorgeous and contemplative variation that closes the final movement. The Piano Trio, is a light hearted romp written in 1937 but not published until 1979. It inhabits the world of Stravinsky (think Petrouchka and Le Sacre du Printemps) with touches of West Side Story thrown in. See if you don't hear foreshadowings of "One Hand, One Heart" in the opening of the first movement and "America" throughout the last movement. The disc ends with four superb arrangements of songs from Candide that would make you think they were originally written for violin and piano.

The first-rate playing throughout by violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew Cooperstock is suitably virtuosic for the bravura passages but warm and lyrical as well when needed. The enthusiasm of the duo for these likable and engaging works is apparent throughout, and I can't imagine any other duo playing these pieces any better. Like most Naxos releases, the recorded sound is excellent. Highly recommended.

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