The Strad's experts evaluate the latest string recordings
Chartreuse – Mozart: Violin Sonata in B flat major K454. Debussy: Violin Sonata in G minor. Strauss: Violin Sonata in E flat major op.18
A well-blended recital from a refined Canadian violinist
Friday, 01 March 2013
Jasper Wood (violin) David Riley (piano)
Mozart, Debussy, Strauss
MAX FRANK MUSIC MFM 003 (WWW.MAXFRANKMUSIC.COM)
Mozart’s refined sound worlds demand absolutely clarity of technique and purity of sound, combined with interpretative warmth, nobilmente elegance and cantabile poise without the slightest hint of self-consciousness. Hats off then to Jasper Wood, who not only possesses a tonally refined sound ideal for Mozart, but also a Szeryng-like ability to inflect phrases subtly with an exquisite range of vibrato and bow strokes while retaining absolute intonational security. With David Riley providing exemplary support, enhanced by a luminescent ambience, this is inspired music-making that provides the greatest pleasure simply because of the sound it makes.
No less responsive and treasurable is a reading of the Debussy Sonata that avoids any hint of concert hall projection, drawing the listener into a world of confidential, whispered correspondences and magically half-lit gestures. Every note rings true, suggesting a composer tantalisingly on the verge of fresh musical discoveries.
On the face of it the Strauss is a very different kind of work, a grand virtuoso statement often played to the gallery for maximum impact. Yet when given time, as here, to unwind and expand naturally with the emphasis on magical texturing and lyrical exultancy, its emotional impact is considerably enhanced. An outstanding recital, warmly recommended.
From the March 2013 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.